Avishkar Govender
Avishkar Govender

National Student Bank

  • To my fellow students I am given once again to reflect on the pathetic leadership provided to the students of South Africa by the ANC government, and in this case by the SACP’s former Minister Blade Nzimande, and the ANC’s Youth Militia of COSAS, SASCO, ANCYL, YCL and PYA.
  • I recall that they all promised us free higher education if we voted ANC, and that we were thus induced to vote ANC.
  • I am reminded that all of the above conveniently refused to implement free higher education, because SASCO’s plan, which is the only plan the ANC has, is complete rubbish, as it is impractical and unsustainable.
  • Therefore as an act of charity I enumerate the only plan for free higher education, and remind the public that former Minister Nzimande was given this plan and that SASCO and the ANC’s youth militia was unable to develop a better or even equally competent plan, despite their vast resources.
  • So if we continue to have people being denied their right to a higher education, perhaps former Minister Nzimande was correctly and appropriately fired and the ANC’s youth militia should be disbanded because they are evidently not adding value to JZ’s term as president.
  • In order to achieve a state of wholly sustainable, non-subsidised, absolutely accessible further and higher education, changes must be made such:
  1. That the state will stop funding colleges and universities altogether, and that the state will instead transform NSFAS (which already includes TEFSA) into the National Student Bank, being initially a wholly state-owned enterprise, this will cause the colleges and universities to become more competitive and to actually demand quality output from their staff, rather than the quantitative processing that we have at present
  2. That the state will allocate the whole of the responsibility of supervising the funding of PhDs and Masters by dissertation to the statutory research councils, under the direction of the NRF, which in turn will work under the auspices of the National Student Bank
  3. That the state will deposit 100% of the annual budget for further and higher education with the National Student Bank as interest bearing deposits (at 2.5% per annum), which are to be lent out to students
  4. That every person who applies for further or higher education, through the National Student Information and Application Service (as announced in the year 2000), will be allocated a National Student Bank account, and those that do not thereafter enrol for further or higher education will be able to use this account to access other developmental opportunities like job creation and entrepreneurship through the co-operation between National Student Bank and the NYDA
  5. That the commercial banks should sell their student banking divisions into the National Student Bank in exchange for minority equity and service level activities, viz. a viz. the transformation of every student banking branch into a National Student Bank branch
  6. That the colleges and universities will re-price their courses, programmes and services to reflect the whole of the per capita cost, without the current deduction for the subsidies
  7. That the colleges and universities will be able to charge a once-off acceptance of a placement fee of R100 ZAR per student, and will issue every registering student (who needs one) a National Student Bank laptop that connects to the college’s or university’s wireless network. This R100 is to be used as the donation to create a non-profit educational trust (for each student) where the college or university (represented by the first officer of the college or university) is the first trustee and the student is the beneficiary, this trust and not the student will be the debtor of the college or university, this trust must proscribe financial exclusion, and must prescribe academic support services and student employment, and also contractualise the basis for academic participation, progression and exclusion as well as the basis for mutual intellectual property creation and ownership rights. The trust will continue for as long as the student is registered as a student, enrolled for CPD and/or is a graduate in good standing with that institution
  8. That the first entry students will continue to enrol and register for their courses in terms of their Grade 12 points, into either the mainstream or extended curricula
  9. That the National Student Bank will lend annually (at an interest rate of 5% per annum) each enrolled student’s trust an amount of money by settling with the college or university concerned each enrolled student’s trust debt, inclusive of tuition fees, accommodation, transport and subsistence fees (if they are studying a programme which is not available, or which they did not gain admission into, in their home district or metropolitan municipality), study and course materials, practical and laboratory supplies, equipment and any other professional and/or vocational equipment required, the cost of the National Student Bank laptop and insurance thereon, as per the scale of allowances prescribed by National Student Bank
  10. That colleges and universities which are charging more than National Student Bank is paying will be advised to lower their price levels or resolve their student debtors situation on their own
  11. That the graduates will be required to repay their student loans from their student trusts to National Student Bank over the first ten years of their taxable employment, wherein the whole of the capital loan amount for the degree: as a depreciable asset is to be depreciated according to the straight line method at 10% per annum, or as an expense is to be deductible against the tax payable on their taxable income (in the years of the incurring of the expense); and the whole of the interest on this capital loan amount is to be deductible against the tax payable on their taxable income, this will mean that graduates will pay very little if any income tax in the first ten years after graduation and beginning employment and that all graduates, including those who are unemployed and those who are in low paying jobs, will receive tax refunds with which to pay their student loans
  12. That the whole of the cost of Continuing Professional Development for which all graduates are to enrol shall also be wholly deductible against their taxable income and that the CPD programmes for all professions must be a purvey solely of the colleges and universities
  13. That over 20 years, the state will continue to place the annual budget for further and higher education on deposit with the National Student Bank until the repayments make it possible for the National Student Bank, which should by then have received well more than R1.5 trillion in deposits to lend out, to be wholly self-sufficient
  14. That if we are to assume that our suggestion for the merger of the SETA and college systems (as we made in the year 2002) does come to fruition, then in addition to the annual budget for further and higher education, the state will also place the whole of the annual SDL-SETA budget on deposit with the National Student Bank, for the use of students at colleges who are doing learnerships and/or NQF 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 level courses

NB. This plan was developed by the South African Liberal Students’ Association (SALSA) from 1999 to 2003; and by the South African Liberal Students’ Association (SALSA) for the DA Youth and DA Students Organisation from 2007 to 2009, and is the intellectual property of the Democratic Alliance www.da.org.za

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