The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) says the strike action set to get underway today will not affect applications for funding for next year.
“The 2020 application cycle will not be affected by the planned strike. All applications are submitted online via smart phone, computer, NYDA centres, local libraries, GCIS Thusong centres, and the Department of Basic Education District Teacher Development Centres.
“All the required business continuity and contingency plans are in place to manage the impact of the potential industrial action,” said NSFAS.
The financial aid scheme said it received a notice for strike action from the National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).
The current issue of contention, which is the Performance Management System, is one of many legacy issues that have negatively affected the performance of the scheme.
“NSFAS management is committed to working with the union through the National Bargaining Forum to reach agreements on any outstanding matters.
“The terms of reference of the Administrator [Randall Carolissen] included managing the day-to-day work of the entity, which focuses on the strengthening of structures, systems and policies that will ensure good governance and effective management of the core operational mandate of NSFAS,” said NSFAS.
According to NSFAS, the scheme has not been allocated any funds for bonuses for the 2018/19 financial year.
“Therefore, the entity is not in any position to adhere to the demands of the union of ex gratia payment.
“We are disappointed that while we are trying to fix the entity under serious government challenges, the very same employees who need assistance seem to not appreciate the intervention government has brought to bring stability,” NSFAS said.
Section 17 of the Constitution recognises the right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions.
NSFAS urged its employees to comply with the picketing rules in order to ensure that they are protected.
“We have taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all our employees, striking and non-striking during this time.
“The ‘no work no pay’ rule will be applied for the duration of the strike,” it said.