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Minister Nzimande Awaits NSFAS Direct Payments Report Amidst Controversy

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Minister Nzimande Awaits NSFAS Direct Payments Report Amidst Controversy

Minister Nzimande Awaits NSFAS Direct Payments Report Amidst Controversy. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande is eagerly awaiting the release of the final report concerning the direct payment of funds to students who are beneficiaries of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). This anticipation follows a series of recent student protests at universities nationwide, where concerns have been raised about the new direct payment system and its associated fees.

Investigation into Allegations Surrounding NSFAS CEO

The discontent surrounding the direct payment system has been compounded by allegations of financial impropriety involving the scheme’s CEO, Andile Nongogo. As a response to these allegations, Nongogo has been placed on special leave pending an investigation.

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Reevaluation of Bank Charges

Minister Nzimande has disclosed that he is actively seeking ways to address the concerns related to bank charges incurred by student accounts. Currently, NSFAS negotiated a monthly bank charge of R12, excluding money transfer expenses to other banks. Minister Nzimande has instructed NSFAS to review the entire banking charge structure to identify potential measures for further reducing costs for beneficiaries.

Media Briefing on Scheme Developments

Minister Nzimande recently held a media briefing to provide updates on the latest developments within the NSFAS scheme. The briefing encompassed topics such as the disbursement of allowances and the management of the scheme.

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Disputing Reports of Incorrect Disbursements

The Minister has refuted claims that NSFAS disbursed incorrect amounts to beneficiaries. He emphasized that the NSFAS board assured him that these reports were misleading and untrue. Nevertheless, he encouraged students who believe they have experienced such discrepancies to promptly report them to NSFAS.

 Student-Centered Funding Model and Collaborative Efforts

Minister Nzimande reiterated his support for the new student-centered model, where students directly apply to NSFAS for funding. He also highlighted NSFAS’s ongoing collaboration with various government entities, including the South African Social Security Agency, the South African Revenue Service, and the Department of Home Affairs. These collaborations aim to verify all NSFAS funding applications, ensuring accurate and efficient processing.

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