More than one million students are being funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme in 2023. The bursary scheme has now released a statement with an update on student allowance payments.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has announced that all students funded scheme, who have onboarded onto the NSFAS Bank account system have now received their September 2023 allowances.
All students funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) at Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVETs) who have onboarded onto the NSFAS Bank account system have received their September allowances.
This comes after several university students raised concerns last week regarding delays on their NSFAS allowances, the bursary scheme noted that it suffered a technical glitch but undertook to pay students by Friday, 01 September 2023.
“The scheme had a technical glitch resulting in non-payment of allowances today; however, this has been fixed and NSFAS will affect payment by midnight 31 August 2023 for the amount to reflect in the beneficiaries account by 12h00 01 September 2023.”
However, by Saturday morning (2 September 2023) payments had yet to materialise for many students.
According to the scheme, beneficiaries at TVET colleges were paid on the 25 August 2023 whilst those at universities were paid on the 2nd of September 2023. “These payments were affected for all students whose valid registration data has been received from institutions,” adds NSFAS.
This is worth celebrating as it is evident that NSFAS efforts to perfect the new payment system and adequately pay allowances on time are paying off.
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
Direct Payment System Issues
Over the past few months, the new NSFAS direct payment system has received backlash from students and stakeholders alike.
The system solution was introduced at universities in June 2023. NSFAS partnered with four fintech companies to bring the new payment solution to students. These companies include Tenet Technology, Coinvest Africa, Ezaga Holdings and Norraco Corporation.
However, since its implementation there have already been a number of complaints about the system, including students not receiving their funds, exorbitant bank charges, glitches, and unauthorised access resulting in loss of funds.
In addition, some students have already expressed frustration noting that the onboarding process has been everything but ‘seamless’, with some questioning communication around the new system and why it was introduced at universities in the middle of the academic year.
Responding to concerns, NSFAS board chair Ernest Khosa acknowledged that, as with any introduction of new systems, there have been some teething issues and genuine cases of students who have not been able to access their allowances via the new solution.
As previously indicated, due to the teething issues experienced with the introduction of the system, NSFAS resolved to have continuous engagements with sector stakeholders to tackle these issues.
They affirmed that NSFAS remains committed to ensuring that all beneficiaries are onboarded onto the new system and get to enjoy all the value-added services associated with the NSFAS Bank Account well into the 2024 academic year.
Students Urged To Authenticate Their Information
Furthermore, NSFAS encouraged all students with applications that still require relevant supporting documents to urgently upload supporting documents as failure to do so will result in the applications being cancelled.
We have students that we have paid to but cannot retrieve their funds because they have not yet fully authenticated themselves.
They added, “We encourage students to authenticate themselves, so that they may be able to retrieve their funds.”
The applicants were sent messages via email and SMS requesting them to upload supporting documents within a specified period.