Study loan defaulters to face litigation and blacklisting
02 November 2021 | Education
The acting CEO of the Namibian Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), Kennedy Kandume, says beneficiaries owe the fund N$2.6 billion. According to Kandume, the records of all loan holders since the fund’s initiation in 1997 have been computerised and can now be easily accessed. The identified individuals will face litigation and blacklisting if they do not make an effort to pay back their loans.
Unemployed graduates will not see their names published in the newspapers, provided that they have initiated contact with the fund to explain their individual circumstances. The fund’s chief financial adviser, Wise Immanuel, says they will publish the names of those individuals that the recovery team cannot get hold of at the addresses provided to NSFAF. Immanuel says contact has been made with some of the defaulters the individuals via their postal addresses.
Furthermore, Kandume stated that the fund has made contact with various companies and state-owned institutions to implore their employees who had studied with assistance from NSFAF to pay back their loans. “Our target is those that were fortunate enough, that benefited to secure assistance from the fund and those that have a secured income from their employers,” Kandume said.
The PDM Youth League national spokesperson, Maximaliant Katjimune, stated in one of his opinion pieces published in The Namibian that the students were guided by a comment made by President Hage Geingob that, “we should give children grants, so they don’t graduate in debt.”
Katjimune wrote that students with loans from NSFAF are usually from a poor background. “They are often the breadwinners within their families. It is then incumbent on them to ensure that they not only drag their families out of a vicious cycle of generational poverty.”
Immanuel further said that people sensationalise the recovery issue for reasons known only to them. The legal adviser also stated that NSFAF is an Article 18 institution, which requires administrative bodies and institutions to act fairly and reasonably. “Persons aggrieved by the exercise of such Act have the right to seek redress before a competent court or tribunal.”