GOVERNMENT will not be lenient with relatives of deceased beneficiaries of scholarships as they will be expected to pay on their behalf.
Ministry of Labour and Social Security Principal Secretary Nomathemba Hlophe said the scholarship recovery exercise would not leave out deceased beneficiaries, but would follow up with the witnesses, who endorsed their signatures on the scholarship agreement forms.
She said this in an interview on national radio yesterday morning, where she emphasised that all monies that were issued as scholarship loans would be recovered.
Asked how government would deal with issues of those who had already passed on, Hlophe said they were going to follow the agreements that were signed between government and the scholarship beneficiaries in as far as the payment was concerned.
She said information the ministry possessed in the scholarship agreement forms would assist in providing the required information that would lead to the recovery of the loans.
When one applies for a government scholarship, they have to bring along two witnesses to endorse their signatures as commitment that they would take responsibility of the loan should the beneficiary fail to pay for whatever reason.
Adding, Hlophe said the company which was given the tender to work on collection of the money was working closely with the ministry to collect data of all beneficiaries. She said this was what was currently ongoing and hopefully between June and July that exercise would have been completed. She said after the collection of the data, the company could then start on collecting the money.
The policy is that once beneficiaries get employment, they should pay back half the total scholarship loan they obtained from year one of their tertiary education to the final year. In previous years, almost all tertiary students in the country received financial support from government.
The scholarship includes tuition fees, book allowance, personal allowance and accommodation as well as internship allowance. Normally, this amounts to around E20 000 per university student who lives off campus.
Government sponsors students at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA), Ngwane Teacher Training College, William Pitcher College, Southern Africa Nazarene University (SANU) and Limkokwing University of Technology.