THE NAMIBIA Students Financial Assistance Fund says it is experiencing problems in the payment of student loans because of a shortage of funds.
The fund said although students' invoices had been processed, payments to the beneficiaries were pending "due to the unavailability of funds".
According to a statement signed by CEO Hilya Nghiwete which the NSFAF issued yesterday, the institution had received 26 040 applications this year, of which 13 619 applications had been approved and awarded loans.
"Due to [the] low rate of repayment of existing loans, 99% of NSFAF funding comes from budgetary allocations from treasury," reads the statement.
It added that the NSFAF still has to confirm if 2 097 students who met the requirements of the fund were registered with institutions of higher learning, and "has engaged institutions to provide a new list of registrations for the award process to be finalised".
The fund services about 31 000 students, of whom 14 349, comprising new and continuing students, have been paid, while 16 836 (52%) invoices are still outstanding.
The NSFAF, however, assured students that the higher education ministry and other stakeholders were working tirelessly for the release of the funds as soon as possible, and hoped to honour the payments of loans as soon as the funds are "disbursed from treasury".
"The NSFAF has made the necessary arrangements with institutions of higher learning in this regard to ensure that students are not adversely affected in terms of class attendance and sitting for examinations," reads the statement.