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NSFAS Allowance Address Concerns Parliament Inquiry And Solutions

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NSFAS Allowance Address Concerns Parliament Inquiry And Solutions

NSFAS Allowance Address Concerns Parliament Inquiry And Solutions. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been facing challenges with its allowance system, causing concerns in Parliament. In response, NSFAS has taken several measures to address these issues.

Enhancing Student Control Over Allowances

NSFAS had initially aimed to empower students with more control over their allowances and additional value-added services. However, students have encountered difficulties with the direct payment system, leading to parliamentary concerns.

Read Also: How a Young Entrepreneur Used His NSFAS Allowance to Thrive in South Africa Business World

Parliamentary Inquiry into Fintech Service Providers

Fintech service providers contracted by NSFAS to distribute allowances to students faced parliamentary scrutiny due to the challenges faced by students in accessing their funds.

Assisting Over a Million South African Students

NSFAS provides financial support to over a million students in South African public tertiary education institutions. These students receive allowances to cover various study-related expenses, including accommodation, meals, stationery, and transportation.

Introducing Direct Allowance Payments

In 2022, NSFAS introduced a direct allowance payment system for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, later expanding it to universities in 2023. The aim was to ensure timely payments and offer additional value-added services to students.

Challenges and Concerns

However, students raised several concerns, including difficulties with system registration, high bank charges, and problems accessing their NSFAS allowances. Concerns also extended to the service providers appointed to facilitate the new payment solution, which included Ezaga, Coinvest, Norocco, and Tenet Technologies.

Read Also: Parliament Oversight of NSFAS Allowance Payment System OUTA Raises Concerns

See also  How a Young Entrepreneur Used His NSFAS Allowance to Thrive in South Africa Business World

Response from Fintech Companies

Fintech service providers acknowledged the challenges students faced and mentioned efforts to address these issues. They discussed ongoing collaboration with educational institutions and student representative councils, a streamlined query system, and discussions with NSFAS to tackle operational problems.

NSFAS Seven-Point Plan

NSFAS outlined a seven-point plan to resolve allowance payment issues. This plan involves the formation of teams reporting to the Acting CEO, who assess student challenges during visits to universities and TVET colleges. The findings are compiled into a report, which the Acting CEO uses to develop a response strategy. The Board reviews the report, and decisions regarding public disclosure are subject to shareholder considerations.

Conclusion

NSFAS and its service providers are actively working to address concerns related to the allowance payment system, ensuring that South African students receive the financial support they need to pursue their education.

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