NSFAS allowance is not for alcohol beverages, board chair warns

Northlink students protest outside the Bellville campus for NSFAS.

Northlink students protest outside the Bellville campus after failing to receive money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) since December 2020. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 3, 2023


Rustenburg - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme allowance for poor students is not meant for buying alcohol, so says NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa after an establishment encouraged students to spend their funds on booze.

This was after Khosa, board members and the SAPS visited Europa Lounge, a popular night club in Sunnyside, Pretoria, which had run a social media advert encouraging students to spend their NSFAS allowance money on alcohol.

The establishment was offering discounted prices on alcoholic beverages to students, using the tagline “NSFAS Ingenile”, (it is in, referring to the NSFAS payout).

“We are at a place called Europa Lounges, we came here after a hair-raising advert invoking the NSFAS name and encourage students to come here for alcoholic beverages. We met the owners, we told the owners this is not only illegal, it is immoral…This cannot be tolerated at all.

“We also warned them that if they proceeded to do these kind of things, we will have no option but to take all the necessary legal action. They have apologised, they have since withdrawn the advert from their posts and they have undertaken to write a statement to that effect,” he said.

Khosa warned students that NSFAS was not meant for alcoholic beverages.

The NSFAS allowances was intended to help students from poor backgrounds with food, transport, learning materials and other living expenses.

In a statement, NSFAS said through the new direct payment system (NSFAS Bank account), NSFAS sought to track and monitor students’ purchase trends, with the aim of putting measures in place to ensure that allowances were spent accordingly.

In a statement, Europa Lounge said there was a flyer in circulation promoting an event at Europa regarding a student financial aid scheme.

It said no event of such nature was happening at their premises.

“We do not condone or encourage any events of this nature.

“We sincerely apologise to our customers and various stakeholders affected by the unauthorised marketing that occurred,” the statement read.