NSFAF explains payment woes

NSFAF has decided to pay N$10 000 per student for non-tuition fees at this juncture, with the balance to be paid as soon as more funds are received from treasury.

14 November 2019 | Education

The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has blamed the delayed payment of non-tuition fees to students on the unavailability of funds and its internal verification processes.

NSFAF also explained that students will only be paid N$10 000 for non-tuition fees.

“We wish to inform the nation that though NSFAF was allocated N$1.1 billion, treasury releases funds in portions throughout the year to ensure proper cash flow management.

“To be equitable, and in the interest of all students, NSFAF has decided to pay N$10 000 towards non-tuition fees per student at this juncture. The balance will be paid as soon as more funds are received from treasury,” NSFAF said in a statement.

It also said that Bank Windhoek would set up a satellite office at the University of Namibia (Unam) Rundu campus from yesterday to speed up the process of issuing bank cards to students, to enable them to receive their non-tuition fees.

This follows last Friday's peaceful protest by disgruntled students from various institutions, who marched to Bank Windhoek's Rundu branch to demand that their cries be heard by the bank and NSFAF.

The students complained about the slow progress of issuing of bank cards by Bank Windhoek.

They claimed only 25 cards were being issued per day, which caused desperate students to start queuing in the wee hours of the morning.

It was further alleged that some slept outside the bank, compromising their safety.

NSFAF said in media release last Friday it acknowledged the concerns of the students, who were mobilised by the National Students Association (NASA) to conduct the protest.

“It should be clear that though the non-tuition fees are paid through the Bank Windhoek platform, the payment delays cannot at any stage be attributed to Bank Windhoek,” the NSFAF statement said.

“The delays have occurred due to the unavailability of funds and the mandatory NSFAF internal verification processes.

“Bank Windhoek cannot resolve the issues raised in the petition pertinent to NSFAF. The bank will, however, be setting up a satellite office at Unam's Rundu campus by Wednesday, 13 November 2019 to assist with the speedy onboarding of students in this area.

“We therefore urge students to exercise patience while payments are being finalised. To qualify for payment, however, they should ensure that their proof of registration is uploaded, that the contract is signed and uploaded and they are in possession of a Bank Windhoek card to receive their payment,” the statement added.

A student petition had called on NSFAF to pay their full non-tuition fees, as agreed to in their contracts.



KENYA KAMBOWE

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