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Sunday, December 5, 2021

NSFAS distances itself from death of eThekwini TVET College student

NYAKALLO TEFU| 

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS) has broken its silence on the death of eThekwini TVET College student, Yonwabo Manyanya.

According to media reports Manyanya died of hunger and fatigue at the age of 26 after NSFAS failed to pay her allowance and tuition fees and she was evicted from her college residence.

She allegedly died of hunger and fatigue after spending three days sleeping outside campus.

NSFAS has denied allegations that it delayed the eThekwini student’s payment.

“There are allegations in the public domain that NSFAS has delayed paying allowances to cover the cost of accommodation time and that Manyanya subsequently suffered from fatigue and hunger as a consequence of this delay. These allegations are factually incorrect, based on information we have, and that the college has,” said NSFAS.

NSFAS said for funding to continue, a student is required to meet the NSFAS progression requirements.

Sibongile Mncwabe, Chief Corporate Services Officer said while Manyanya was a NSFAS funded student in 2020, for the 2021 academic year her funding had not been confirmed.

“The information on NSFAS record is that Ms Manyanya had not met the progression criteria at the time of her passing. She is part of a group of students whose progression status was continuously being queried with the college.  

“The facts of the communication clear NSFAS of any connection to this tragic incident. It is unfortunate that this tragic incident is being used inaccurately and unfairly in an insensitive manner to the family and to defame NSFAS. This misleading, unfortunate and opportunistic approach is viewed in contempt by NSFAS and individuals spreading this inaccurate communication should be ashamed,” said Mncwabe.

The delays in NSFAS funding have caused much outrage across institutions of higher education.

“The facts of the communication clear NSFAS of any connection to this tragic incident. It is unfortunate that this tragic incident is being used inaccurately and unfairly in an insensitive manner to the family and to defame NSFAS. This misleading, unfortunate and opportunistic approach is viewed in contempt by NSFAS and individuals spreading this inaccurate communication should be ashamed,” said Mncwabe.

Mncwabe said the financial aid, together with eThekwini TVET College, shared communication with the Department of Higher Education and Training explaining Manyanya’s funding status.

“The facts of the communication clear NSFAS of any connection to this tragic incident. It is unfortunate that this tragic incident is being used inaccurately and unfairly in an insensitive manner to the family to defame NSFAS,” added Mncwabe.

Manyanya was studying towards a diploma in electrical and infrastructure construction at eThekwini TVET College.

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