Johannesburg - The South African Student Congress (Sasco) has lashed out at ANC subcommittee on education chairperson Naledi Pandor for endorsing the new funding model “Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme”.
The organisation said on Wednesday that the scheme will mean the privatisation of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and eventually derail the goal of achieving free education for the poor.
The Ikusasa scheme was introduced earlier this year by the Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande as solution to the higher education crisis that has gripped the country over the past couple of years.
The scheme is being tested at a handful of universities, with the goal of rolling it out nationally from 2018. Its task team is being led by Sizwe Nxasana who is the current head of NSFAS.
It will raise money from the government, private sector, non-profit organisations, skills levy, financial institutions, donors, retirement fund and social impact bonds.
It will be used to fund the “missing middle students” with household incomes of between R122 000 and R600 000.
Sasco said they have long believed that NSFAS had reached it sell-by date, but said the answer to the education crisis does not lie with Ikusasa.
Thabo Moloja, Sasco's president, said the ANC was taking efforts for free education backwards, which proved that it was not committed to free education.
“The resolution for free education was made 10 years ago by the ANC. 10 years later the minister (Blade Nzimande) has failed to develop a cogent plan for this purpose but has opted to establish commissions in an attempt to buy time,” said Moloja.
Sasco also has issues with the fact that the Progressive Youth Alliance had been excluded from the ANC subcommittee on Education's discussions on Vuwani.
Politics and Development