“I was funded by NSFAS for my whole qualification and that is what made me pay my loan back without wasting time. I wanted other disadvantaged young people to get the same assistance I got”
I grew up in rural Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu Natal and walked 5 kilometres to school. I have five siblings and we were raised by my father, who was a taxi driver, and my mother, who was a teacher. I matriculated in 2002 and pursued my higher education at the Durban University of Technology the following year. When I went to university I had already known about NSFAS because my older brother – who did Mechanical Engineering at Mangosuthu University of Technology, was funded by NSFAS. Although at home we were poor like most families in our village of Emoyeni, my mother helped us a lot with her teacher’s salary. Her salary helped us not to go to bed hungry, but it was not good enough to pay for university education, hence I got NSFAS funding, just as my brother did.
At DUT I was doing a National Diploma in Internal Auditing. I had originally wanted to become a Chartered Accountant but I could not due to not meeting academic requirements. However, I soon realised that Internal Auditing was just as good, and also very close to Chartered Accountancy. I passed all my subject very well and received the 40% bursary conversion on my NSFAS funding, which made my NSFAS loan very low. After graduating in 2006, I worked for an East London based company as Trainee Auditor, and four years later joined the Department of Labour in Pretoria, as Senior Internal Auditor. I called NSFAS while still in my first job and arranged to make repayments. In 2010 my mother passed away and I received some money from her policies, which I used to settle my NSFAS loan.
I now work as Senior Internal Auditor at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. My job entails ensuring that all the corporate governance controls are implemented effectively, and risk is minimised. I have 12 years’ experience in internal auditing. I am married with two kids. Without NSFAS it would have been extremely difficult, not just for me, but for my entire family. The financial pressure was already too much on my family and for that, I appreciate the contribution that NSFAS made in my life. The funding I received from NSFAS was for tuition, accommodation, and meal allowances.