South Africa - Durban - 17 May 2021- Thekwini TVET College.Picture:Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Durban - 17 May 2021- Thekwini TVET College.Picture:Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Thekwini TVET principal dismisses claims that NSFAS is to blame for academic disruptions

By Sibusiso Mboto Time of article published May 20, 2021

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DURBAN - THEKWINI TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) College had seen a R54 million annual allocation spent in less than six months because some students had falsified their addresses to get an accommodation allowance from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the principal of the institution said yesterday.

Speaking to The Mercury after a meeting with Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, principal Nkosinathi Mchunu dismissed suggestions that NSFAS was primarily to blame for the disruptions to academic activity at the college’s Cato Manor and Asherville campuses over the past few days.

Earlier this week, students said they had been forced to sleep outside campus because accommodation had not been paid for by NSFAS. They said that NSFAS paid for accommodation for those who lived in rural areas and out of the province.

Mchunu said students had used addresses from other areas to get the allowances, when they lived in Durban.

“If you were to believe what you see on the forms admitted by students seeking financial assistance, none of the students come from nearby townships in Durban, almost everyone comes from far away,” said Mchunu.

He also dismissed rumours that a student had died while sleeping at the institution’s gates.

“I have spoken to the parents and it is known that she was sleeping at a boyfriend’s place when she died, so it is not correct to blame the institution.”

Despite the lack of academic activity over the past days, the principal expressed optimism that the situation would soon be back to normal.

“We are meeting with the students’ leadership and we believe that the matter will be resolved soon.”

Student Phamela Mphayi from Bizana in the Eastern Cape said yesterday she remained hopeful that she would finish her course this year.

“I hope I will not be at home for the rest of the year,” said Mphayi who returned home a week ago.

Sbongile Mncwabe of NSFAS said the colleges are the ones which determine and review the allowance applications after conducting due diligence.

THE MERCURY

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