NSFAS Speeds Up Processing Of Student Allowances

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NSFAS scheme has come under fire recently regarding payments delays for student monthly allowances. As a result, the government bursary scheme says it has accelerated processing of student allowances.


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Thousands of students rely on allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to purchase food, stationery, and other necessities while they study. However, several challenges meant that students have to wait longer to receive their allowances.

In light of concerns raised regarding payment delays, NSFAS has revealed that they have initiated an "accelerated processing of student allowances".

In a statementNSFAS noted:

The speed and comprehensive release of funding depends in part on relevant and applicable student registration data being timeously availed to the organisation.

This comes after the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) issued a statement claiming that most of their NSFAS funded students were yet to receive their allowances for the month of July.

We note a statement from Wits University asserting that more 8,000 of the 9,950 students had not been paid their allowances on July 14, 2023.

According to the scheme, around 7,684 student allowances were paid on the 14 July in addition to the cohort paid during the end of June payment run.

However, NSFAS acknowledged that there are a number of NSFAS beneficiaries whose payments are outstanding. These cases will be examined and where appropriate corrected as soon as possible.

NSFAS said it would continue liaising with tertiary institutions to ensure that whatever obstacles exist are addressed.

"There is accelerated work to ensure universal coverage and disbursements to already approved beneficiaries due to receive funding."

Changes At NSFAS

Furthermore, the bursary scheme also noted that there are overlapping and interdependent change management processes currently underway within its organisation.

This is aimed primarily at the deployment of automated technological solutions to serve students on time and at scale, adds NSFAS. 

We therefore wish to caution and advise the public not to be disheartened by and impatient with teething problems that might arise in isolated incidents from time to time as the re-engineering of the overall architecture of our systems is on track and receiving our outmost focus and care.

NSFAS concludes, “We understand and accept that changes create uncertainty and some levels of discomfort but commit to s consultative and transparent change management process, in the handling of necessary and critical changes that might not always be fully embraces in their early phases of deployment and system testing.”

NSFAS Direct Payments

Previously, student allowances were paid by universities and service providers. However, this no longer is the case as NSFAS rolled out it's new direct payment system using the NSFAS Mastercard as of the 2023 academic year. 

According to the bursary scheme, the new NSFAS direct payment system was introduced to ensure that funded students receive their allowances for food, transportation, and other living expenses in a secure and seamless way.

However, students have already expressed frustration noting that the onboarding process has been everything but ‘seamless’, with some questioning communication around the new system, high banking service costs and why it was implemented at universities in the middle of the academic year.

Responding to concerns on the issue of direct payments, NSFAS said that they would not allow a system that was established in good faith to be muddled with activities that defeat the purpose of direct payments. 

An investigation of these complaints will be conducted, and where the allegations are proven true, appropriate action will be taken. Service providers will be instructed to increase their physical presence at institutions of higher learning.

NSFAS says that the transaction costs/ charges are standard across all partners. 

NSFAS partnered with four banking service providers to bring the new payment solution to students. These service providers include Tenet Technology, Coinvest Africa, Ezaga Holdings and Norraco Corporation.

 

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NSFAS Western Cape regional offices

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has announced its decision to initiate a remedial process aimed at defunding students who were allocated financial aid based on incorrect information.

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