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NSFAS Tackles Delayed Allowance Issues with SRC Collaboration

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NSFAS Tackles Delayed Allowance Issues with SRC Collaboration

NSFAS Tackles Delayed Allowance Issues with SRC Collaboration. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has faced growing scrutiny and concerns surrounding delayed allowance payments, as well as allegations of maladministration and corruption. This article delves into the challenges the NSFAS has encountered with its new direct payment system and the efforts being made to address these issues.

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The NSFAS Direct Payment System

In 2022, NSFAS introduced a direct payment system for student allowances as a means to ensure timely and reliable disbursement of funds. This system required students to register for an NSFAS bank account. NSFAS established partnerships with four service providers to facilitate these direct payments. While initially implemented in TVET colleges, the direct payment system was rolled out to universities in July 2023.

Challenges Faced

The transition to the new system has not been without hurdles. Some students encountered difficulties during the registration process for the NSFAS bank account. Additionally, concerns arose over high bank charges, and in certain cases, allowances were not disbursed as expected.

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Addressing the Challenges

To address these challenges, NSFAS has implemented several strategies:

  1. Onsite Assistance at Institutions: NSFAS deployed teams to educational institutions to assist students with onboarding and accessing their allowances. These teams provided support during critical periods, such as the student registration period.
  2. Engagement with SRCs: NSFAS has actively collaborated with institutions and Student Representative Councils (SRCs) to define procedural steps and address queries and concerns. Team members were stationed at universities to aid in the onboarding process during July and August.
  3. Ongoing Engagement: NSFAS maintains continuous engagement with institution management and SRCs in partnership with direct payment providers. This proactive approach ensures that any identified issues are promptly addressed.
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Concerns about Fintech Companies

Questions have been raised regarding the Fintech companies selected to distribute NSFAS allowances to students. Some members of parliament expressed concerns about the capability of these companies to effectively distribute allowances. Allegations have also arisen that certain Fintech companies may not have met the minimum requirements for appointment.

Conclusion

The NSFAS is actively working to resolve the challenges associated with its new direct payment system and is committed to ensuring that outstanding issues are addressed in collaboration with institutions, SRCs, and direct payment partners. The concerns regarding Fintech companies underscore the need for transparency and accountability in the disbursement of student allowances.

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