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Sars may start deducting money from former NSFAS beneficaries.

Ofentse Maphari | 14 March 2017

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been struggling with recouping money from former students. The African National Congress (ANC) has proposed that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) be brought in to assist the (NSFAS)  in recovering money from its former beneficiaries.

In 2016 NSFAS announced that it was campaigning to recover R21 billion that was owed to it by loan recipients, but it only managed to get back R200 million of the debt. The ANC released its policy documents last week. These will be debated by structures of the party ahead of its 2017 National Policy Conference in June.

In the midst of all the protests that the government has to deal with the financial aid’s scheme struggle in getting back money from former beneficaries in order to assist all other students that need financial support with their studies.

The fund has previously asked Sars to assist in providing non-financial information about its debtors who were in formal employment.

“One of the issues that’s become clear is we are not reaching all who have been beneficiaries of NSFAS,” said Naledi Pandor, who serves as chair of the education and health committee. She also said the idea was ensure that there are improved ways of getting into contact with former NSFAS  beneficiaries so they could begin repaying their loans.

According to Pandor, the ANC had engaged with several party structures over this important matter and proposals had been put together. These will then be discussed in June and possibly be adopted in December.

One of the ideas put forward in the discussion document dealing with education is the idea that the age at which individuals should retire should be pushed back further.

The suggestion comes from recent comments by Blade Nzimande, the minister of Higher Education, that the country was failing to produce more academics.

He said the the main reason for this was ageing, and if nothing was done to deal with the situation, the country’s institutions of higher learning would be hit by a crisis within  the next 10 years.

(Featured Image: mie.co.za)

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