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‘WHERE IS E100M FROM STUDY LOANS?’

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LOBAMBA – Over E100 million has been collected by the Student Study Loans Recovery Consortium thus far but Members of Parliament (MPs) raised concerns on utilisation of the collected funds.

 


It was stated that out of 4 162 students who were interviewed prior to the awarding of scholarships in the current academic year, only 3 295 students were awarded the scholarships, leaving out 867 students, some of whom had already commenced their studies.

This was due to budgetary limits as revealed by Minister of Labour and Social Security Makhosi Vilakati during the ministry’s portfolio committee 2nd quarter performance report debate at Senate yesterday.


However, the minister stated that after consulting with Cabinet, the remaining students were added to government sponsored students despite the budgetary limits.


Collected


After announcing that the ministry, under the Pre-service Education and Training (PTET) Loan Unit, slightly over E100 million had been collected thus far since the beginning of the project, MPs wanted to know where the collected money went to because students continued to be left out in the awarding of scholarships.
Gege MP Musa Kunene posed the question to the minister: “Where does the scholarship loans collected by the consortium go because seemingly, the money is put into government coffers and it doesn’t serve the purpose of enhancing the ministry in awarding scholarships to students?”


The same question was asked by Mhlangatane MP Madala Nhleko, who requested the minister to give clarity on the utilisation of the collected funds as it was not serving its purpose. Nkomiyahlaba MP Welcome Shongwe said they foresaw an influx in the number of intake mainly because English, which was a barrier for many students particularly at high school level, was officially not a deciding subject.


In his response, Minister Vilakati said the funds were collected through a dedicated account at Standard Bank and transferred on regular short intervals to the government account at Central Bank in compliance with the public Finance Management Act.

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