NSFAS Accommodation Allowance Cap Under Review



There is an ongoing debate about whether the current NSFAS accommodation allowance caps allow for adequate support. Some stakeholders argue that these caps don't reflect the true cost of living near universities, particularly in metropolitan areas.



The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a lifeline for many South African students, providing financial aid to those pursuing higher education.

A crucial part of this support is the NSFAS accommodation allowance. This allowance helps ensure students can live close to their campuses, reducing commute times and allowing them to focus on their studies.

This NSFAS accommodation allowance is however capped for students, which has been raising concerns amongst stakeholders.

South African students can expect a review of the NSFAS accommodation allowance cap. This comes after concerns from stakeholders that the current caps might not cover rental costs in certain areas.

The introduction of the cap in 2022 has been a source of debate, with some NSFAS-funded students arguing it's insufficient. In response, NSFAS implemented differentiated caps in 2024, allocating R50,000 for metro areas and R41,000 for non-metro areas.

This adjustment, based on research, aims for responsible spending while acknowledging regional rental variations. Institutions in non-metro areas can also propose higher caps with NSFAS approval.

A dedicated team will be established to evaluate the impact of the accommodation cap and determine if further adjustments are needed. NSFAS administrator Freeman Nomvalo emphasized the importance of responsible use of government resources but also acknowledged the need to address any challenges caused by the current caps.

We don't have unlimited resources, we do take the concern that it [accommodation cap] may not be economical in some instances.

"The team that I'm going to be putting in place, we're going to be evaluating those claims [the impact of accommodation caps] so that we can then see if there's a need to review the policy position that is in place and if that need arises we will have a look at it," says the Administrator.

Prioritizing Outstanding Payments

While a cap increase might not be immediate, NSFAS is prioritizing resolving outstanding accommodation allowance payments to landlords to prevent student evictions.

Landlords can now submit concerns directly to a dedicated email address: [email protected]. NSFAS has also established a team to address inquiries and is working to increase its capacity for faster resolution.

"At the moment we have to deal with the outcome of past decisions and past practices that have resulted in the backlog," said Nomvalo.

Our focus is helping our students and therefore we've got to put every resource that we have into ensuring that this matter is dealt with.

The Administrator recognized the need for landlords to receive timely payments to maintain their businesses and continue providing accommodation for students. He further emphasized that resolving these issues is crucial to ensure student well-being and prevent disruptions caused by potential business closures.

Suggested Article:

NSFAS opening bursary applications

Attention TVET College Students in South Africa! Don't miss out on financial aid for your Trimester 2 studies. Students are encouraged to apply for the comprehensive financial aid from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. 




Google News

Advertisement i

Advertisement m