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NSFAS September Allowance Disbursements Onboarding Success Amid Challenges



NSFAS September Allowance Disbursements Onboarding Success Amid Challenges

In 2023, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is providing financial support to over one million students. NSFAS recently issued an important update regarding the disbursement of student allowances for September.

Swift Allowance Disbursements for Onboarded Students

The NSFAS has confirmed that all students funded by the scheme who have successfully onboarded onto the NSFAS Bank account system have now received their September 2023 allowances.

In an official statement, NSFAS stated

“All students funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) attending Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVETs) who have completed the onboarding process onto the NSFAS Bank account system have already received their September allowances.”

NSFAS September Allowance Disbursements Onboarding Success Amid Challenges

This development follows concerns raised by university students about delays in receiving their NSFAS allowances. NSFAS acknowledged a technical glitch but committed to rectifying the issue and disbursing payments by Friday, September 1, 2023.

“The scheme experienced a technical glitch that temporarily disrupted allowance payments. However, this issue has been resolved, and NSFAS will process payments by midnight on August 31, 2023, ensuring that the funds are accessible in beneficiaries’ accounts by 12:00 PM on September 1, 2023.”

Nonetheless, as of Saturday morning, September 2, 2023, some students had yet to receive their payments.

Payment Timelines for Beneficiaries

According to NSFAS, beneficiaries at TVET colleges received their payments on August 25, 2023, while those at universities received their payments on September 2, 2023. NSFAS emphasized that these payments were made to all students with valid registration data submitted by their institutions.

This achievement signifies NSFAS’s commitment to refining the new payment system and ensuring timely disbursement of allowances.

NSFAS Allowance Breakdown

  • NSFAS Allowances for University Students:
    • R5,460 for learning materials
    • R16,500 for living expenses
    • R61,500 for university-provided accommodation with catering
    • R45,000 for university-provided accommodation with self-catering
  • NSFAS Allowances for TVET College Students:
    • Living in college-owned catered residence: R54,000 accommodation allowance
    • Living in college-owned self-catered residence: R45,000 accommodation allowance, R6,000 living allowance, and R3,045 personal care allowance
    • Living in private accommodation: R45,500 accommodation allowance, R6,000 living allowance, and R3,045 personal care allowance
    • Students living more than 10 KM from campus: R6,000 living allowance, R3,045 personal care allowance, and R7,780 transport allowance

Challenges with the New Direct Payment System

Since the introduction of the new NSFAS direct payment system in June 2023 at universities, there have been concerns and complaints from students and stakeholders alike. The system, developed in collaboration with four fintech companies (Tenet Technology, Coinvest Africa, Ezaga Holdings, and Norraco Corporation), has encountered several issues, including delayed funds, high bank charges, technical glitches, and unauthorized access leading to fund losses.

Some students have also expressed frustration over the onboarding process, questioning the timing of its introduction during the academic year.

NSFAS Response to Challenges

Ernest Khosa, the NSFAS board chair, acknowledged the teething issues associated with introducing a new system and genuine cases of students facing difficulties accessing their allowances through the new solution. NSFAS has committed to continuous engagement with sector stakeholders to address these challenges.

NSFAS reaffirmed its dedication to ensuring that all beneficiaries successfully transition to the new system and benefit from the enhanced services provided by the NSFAS Bank Account throughout the 2024 academic year.

Urgent Authentication for Application Documents

Furthermore, NSFAS has urged students with pending applications that require supporting documents to promptly upload these documents. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of their applications.

“We have students we have already paid, but they cannot access their funds because they have not completed the authentication process,” NSFAS emphasized. They encouraged students to authenticate themselves to ensure the smooth retrieval of their funds.

Applicants have received notifications via email and SMS, requesting them to submit the necessary supporting documents within a specified timeframe.

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