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student loan dodgers

Since 1978 the government has had to sustain the bursary system by pumping in more money every year because people were just not servicing their debts.
The NMDS spokesperson, Moeketsi Rankhone, on Friday refused to comment saying he was on leave.
A research carried out in November last year by a former NMDS employee and submitted for a Masters’ Degree at the University of Free State, revealed that within four years from 2001 to 2004 the NMDS’ over-expenditure growth rate was 311 percent.
Malefetsane Nchaka, a former NMDS public relations officer who is now a lecturer at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, showed that in 2001 the NMDS was allocated M82 million and spent M80.4 million.
It also overspent in the following three years.
In 2002 the parliament allocated the NMDS M114.1 million but it gobbled up M122 million.
In 2003 it was allocated M115.2 million but it spent M176.6 million.
In 2004 the secretariat was given M195 million but it dished out M249.8 million to students, “some of this without authority”.
Nchaka also found that in early 2000s the then Finance Minister, Kelebone Maope’s political policy interventions compelled “the NMDS to finance students who have been through NUL bridging programme rather than the NMDS procedure”.
Nchaka says this was prevalent “and it was verbally communicated to the director of NMDS. There seems to be no written memos to this effect.”
“This policy intervention has taken place during the current Hon Timothy Thahane’s term in 2004 when the NMDS was instructed to fund 500 students at NUL who did not go through the NMDS procedures,” Nchaka writes.
In 2002/2003 financial year parliament had allocated M115 million to the NMDS but Thahane had to request an additional M40 million because the NMDS had under budgeted.
These are but just minor fractions of millions of maloti spent on student sponsorships.
Nchaka’s research revealed that in 2005 the late Dr Moeketsi Senaoana, who later became the Central Bank of Lesotho governor, recommended that the NMDS should communicate extensively with stakeholders and debtors on ways to make them pay in instalments but his advice was not heeded.
It was after Senaoana discovered that “students’ debtors who have been sponsored by the NMDS since 1978 (were) in excess of 20 000 and the outstanding loans to be repaid or recovered (were) in excess of M100 million.”
Senaoana then proposed that the NMDS should open an account with a specific bank in both Lesotho and South Africa and communicate the information to all debtors so that they could deposit their monthly instalments.
Nchaka blames the NMDS’ incompetence for failure to manage the revolving fund.
He said the NMDS failed to communicate effectively with stakeholders such as banks, universities and guardians or parents of students who signed the contracts entered into between the sponsor and beneficiaries.
Inevitably, for the NMDS to accomplish this mammoth task, communication with defaulters and other stakeholders is of utmost importance, Nchaka says.
“The analysis revealed that the NMDS’ mission and brand are not well-known among stakeholders.
“It was further extrapolated that communication between top management and the employees of the NMDS was poor,” he writes.
Nchaka says the organisation’s ability to communicate with its stakeholders using various techniques has been very poor. Furthermore it became clear that there is absolutely no message consistency within the organisation, he says.
“The causes thereof were poor internal communication, employees lacking knowledge of their work, absence of policies and differences in perception,” he writes.

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