Department To Take Legal Action Against Students Defrauding NSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme requires students to meet certain requirements before they are able to receive funding for their tertiary education. The Department of Higher Education says students who provide false information to receive funding will face legal action. 

The National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) is a government bursary that provides funding to disadvantaged students who are pursuing qualifications at public universities and TVET colleges. 

In order to qualify for NSFAS funding students must meet many requirements which include meeting the annual household income threshold of R350 000. 

Recently, it was reported that 35 students who were funded by NSFAS were caught for providing incorrect information and misusing the funds they were receiving from the bursary scheme.  

The Department of Higher Education and Training spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi says that the department is worried about students who have been found defrauding NSFAS. 

NSFAS has reported that there are students who have been found to be benefitting fraudulently from the bursary scheme and supplying false information. 

The department says that they are working very closely with Home Affairs, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to ensure that all the information provided by applicants are verified. 

The Minister of Higher Education Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande has called on all students who have benefitted from NSFAS irregularly to declare that they have done so, in order for them to receive some kind of pardon. 

Mnisi says that if the system finds students who have provided false information or are misusing funds and the students have not declared this, then they will face legal action.