New NSFAS Allowance Payment System Coming In September



More than one million students rely on NSFAS allowances on their tertiary education journey. NSFAS confirmed that a new allowance payment system will be implemented in September 2024. 



The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will implement a new allowance payment system for students by September 2024. This was revealed by newly-appointed administrator Freeman Nomvalo on Monday. 

Nomvalo addressed members of the media on Monday to discuss a range of matters concerning the government bursary scheme and its beneficiaries. This includes the implementation of a new allowance payment system. 

Nomvalo’s announcement regarding the new allowance payment system comes after months of allowance payment challenges which saw many students not paid their allowances. NSFAS had to make several arrangements throughout the 2024 academic year to ensure students are paid their NSFAS allowances. 

At the beginning of the 2024 academic year, NSFAS made upfront payments to universities and TVET colleges to pay allowances to students. This was done to ensure a smooth start to the 2024 academic year. 

Following the first few months of the 2024 academic year, Direct NSFAS payments would be facilitated by fintech service providers. However, this was short-lived and challenges forced NSFAS to return to the drawing board to make new NSFAS payment plans.

From May, TVET College students would receive NSFAS allowance payments directly into their bank accounts while university students would receive their allowance payments from their institutions.

Nomvalo said his main goal as administrator of the bursary is to ensure students receive all their allowances on time. This is in addition to ensuring accommodation providers are paid on time. 

What This Means For Direct Payment Service Providers

Nomvalo said NSFAS is in the process of ramping up its implementation of the Werksmans report which recommends that the four service providers hired to facilitate NSFAS allowance payments to students be relieved of their duties.  

In 2023, Werkman's attorneys revealed the appointment of these service providers was irregular and was possibly due to corruption. While NSFAS said they would terminate their contracts with these service providers, they ultimately failed to do so and led Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to fire the NSFAS board. 

Namvalo revealed that NSFAS is also collaborating with the Special Investigating Unit regarding these contacts. 

The administrator added that the matter is currently before the courts and will not comment on the matter.

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