NSFAS Student Accommodation Mafia Threatens Higher Education Sector


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme resorted to calling on private accommodation providers with the aim of resolving constant student housing challenges due to the shortage of beds. But now, the higher education sector is now faced with another threat to the stability of student accommodation.




The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) emphasised that its student accommodation cap will remain at R45,000 for students in both public universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

However, the accommodation cap has had a negative impact predominantly on universities in urban areas.

The Department of Higher Education and Training admitted that some of the accommodations do have state-of-the-art amenities and are close to campuses, but are costly.

Recently, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) identified a student accommodation 'mafia' that was threatening to destabilise the entire higher education sector and in a statement, NSFAS has revealed:

We are not just facing a financial threat, but also a security threat from a “mafia” threatening the entire sector.

According to NSFAS chairperson, Ernest Khosa, the SIU has been able to identify some problems that are threatening the security of the Higher Education sector as a whole.

Khosa has also added that these organised groups could be found in the student accommodation sector, where they "connive" with service providers.

This has been followed by NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo receiving threatening messages, indicating that there are some people who are concerned by the Scheme’s new accommodation policies.

However, the SIU continues to shed light on the challenges in the higher education sector through investigations into various fraudulent activities.

This comes after the Unit has also provided parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts with information of NSFAS paying just over R5 billion in bursaries to 40,000 unqualifying students.

Who Qualifies For Funding Through NSFAS?

NSFAS provides financial support to South African citizens and permanent residents attending public universities and TVET colleges. 

Eligible students are required to prove financial need by either being a social grant beneficiary or have a total combined household income of not more than R350 000 per annum. Persons living with disabilities should have a total combined household income of not more than R600 000 per annum.

More Information About NSFAS:


Suggested Article:

Minister Blade Nzimande

The recently implemented blanket cap on student accommodation allowances has raised many concerns as students battle to find adequate housing within the allocated budget.




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