NSFAS says it's not to blame for KZN student’s death

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published May 31, 2021

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The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has denied allegations that it had delayed paying allowances to cover the cost of accommodation on time which subsequently led to the death of KwaZulu Natal student Yonwaba Manyanya.

“There are allegations in the public domain that NSFAS has delayed paying allowances to cover the cost of accommodation on time and that Ms. Manyanya subsequently suffered from fatigue and hunger while living on the streets as a consequence of this delay. These allegations are factually incorrect, based on information we have, and that the college has,” the financial aid scheme said.

Manyanya, 26, died earlier this month allegedly after spending days sleeping outside the campus. She was studying towards a diploma in electrical and infrastructure construction.

A social media post which went viral claimed that the Eastern Cape born student who was studying in eThekwini TVET college was evicted by her landlord due to her NSFAS funding not being granted for the 2021 academic year.

The post alleged that her food scheme allowance had also been discontinued.

NSFAS in a statement issued on Sunday said while Manyanya was an NSFAS funded student in 2020, for the 2021 academic year her funding had not been confirmed.

“The information on NSFAS record is that Ms Manyanya had not met the progression criteria as at the time of her passing. She is part of a group of students whose progression status was continuously being queried with the college,” NSFAS said.

NSFAS and eThekwini TVET College said they had shared communication to the Department of Higher Education and Training explaining Manyanya’s funding status.

“The facts of the communication clear NSFAS of any connection to this tragic incident. It is unfortunate that this tragic incident is being used inaccurately and unfairly in an insensitive manner to the family and to defame NSFAS.

“This misleading, unfortunate and opportunistic approach is viewed in contempt by NSFAS and individuals spreading this inaccurate communication should be ashamed,” NSFAS said.

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