It should be considered whether the billions of rands of workers’ money in public and private pension and provident funds cannot also be used for an affordable loan scheme to fund the tertiary studies of the “missing middle” students in particular. Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande said.
Nzimande addressed MPs in an online meeting of the portfolio committee on his department on Friday.
He also announced that he had appointed a ministerial task team to investigate the business processes, systems, and capacity of the beleaguered National Financial Aid Scheme for Students and to make recommendations on a future model for administering financial aid to students.
According to Nzimande, he also directed an investigation into the salaries of vice-chancellors and senior executives at all 26 public universities.
The “missing middle” students refer to students from households with an annual income of more than R350 000, whose parents earn too much for them to qualify for an NSFAS scholarship, but who themselves cannot afford the expensive tertiary education can not afford.
Nzimande said a significant proportion of them came from the civil servants’ households.
“I therefore think that the Public Investment Corporation should be involved to be part of any form of public / private support scheme for the ‘missing agent’. I would love it if it is considered. ”
According to Nzimande, research shows that pension and provident funds in South Africa currently amount to about R12 000 billion.
“I find it hard to believe that with this much money we cannot have an affordable and sustainable loan scheme supported by these funds for the approximately 500,000 ‘missing middle’ students. This is something that needs to be investigated. ”