UPDATE ON STUDENT ALLOWANCE PAYMENT OF NSFAS BENEFICIARIES
Today’s latest NSFAS News – Following a ground-breaking and purposeful meeting the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) held with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) and direct payment partners in Cape Town on Tuesday 11 July 2023, it was resolved as follows:
- Today, 14 July 2023, NSFAS is paying allowances of approximately 75% of all beneficiaries for whom registration data has been received from institutions and successfully validated by NSFAS.
- All institutions are urged to fast-track submission of the outstanding 25% of the registration data to ensure that beneficiaries are paid in the next payment run scheduled for the 31st of July 2023.
- NSFAS committed to dispatch capacitated teams within a week of the reopening of institutions to help with swift onboarding of students and the issuing of physical bank cards. This process will be completed in partnership with institutions and Student Representative Councils.
- All students affected by the recent defunding process will be sent communication detailing the reasons for the defunding and advising them on steps to follow.
Other issues to be addressed as a matter of urgency include, among others, the following:
- Standardization of onboarding process across all platforms to simplify the process for students.
- Revisiting of the fee structure for the NSFAS bank account with the intention to reduce the transactional charges.
- The lack of updates to relevant stakeholders on urgent matters; it was agreed that NSFAS will conduct weekly stakeholder meetings until all identified have been resolved.
In the past few weeks, NSFAS has intensified efforts to reach out and engage meaningfully with universities, TVET colleges and student organizations to ensure that the servicing of NSFAS beneficiaries is performed in a consistent, dependable, and coordinated manner.
It is the first time that the entity has taken a bold move to be directly accountable for the payment of student allowances. This new system, like any other new system, is bound to present new and unforeseen challenges.
Acting in good faith and to the benefit of the students, we can collectively resolve the challenges. It is this constructive and solution-orientated posture that we all need. The alternative is focusing on magnifying complaints and throwing accusations which will not be helpful.
We would like to extend appreciation to all stakeholders who are playing a constructive role in the resolution of the challenges related to Direct Payments. Issued by: The National Student Financial Aid Scheme.