NSFAS Confident That Direct Payment System Issues Will Be Resolved


On the backdrop of weeks of student unrest over the challenges with the direct payment system implemented by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, the bursary scheme has now provided some clarity regarding the payment system.



Earlier today, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) held a media briefing updating members of the media and public at large on the bursary scheme current state of affairs. The briefing comes after students across the country took to the streets last week, arguing that the new funding system was ineffective and problematic.

NSFAS board chairperson, Ernest Khosa discussed challenges around the new payment system, defunding of students and student accommodation concerns. 

Khosa explained:

Over the past few weeks, there were protests and related activities on campuses on some of the products and services from National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Key among issues as the reasons for the protests are defunded students and direct payments.

How The Direct Payment System Came About

According to NSFAS the student-centred model was introduced to reduce the amount of roleplayers involved in NSFAS services. This aimed to ensure that students were not sent “from pillar to post” for information related to their NSFAS funding. 

Most of these initiatives were a response to the call by sector stakeholders, especially students themselves who cited the scattered processors as the source of frustration these students were being sent from pillar to post whilst looking for answers regarding the status of their application.

Khosa stresses they are concerned about the notion that they implemented the new direct allowance payment system without proper engagement with stakeholders.

They say the system was introduced following several consultations and aiming to make the payment of allowances easier and to prevent payment delays.

Since onboarding university students in June, the majority of funded students at universities have been onboarded onto the new direct payment system. The scheme revealed that almost 90% of students are registered for the NSFAS bank account.

NSFAS said in a statement, "After just two months of implementation at universities, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is proud to announce that 86% of NSFAS-funded university students have been successfully onboarded onto the scheme's new direct payment method."

“This achievement marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing commitment to providing efficient and timely financial support to our beneficiaries.”

NSFAS Working To Resolve Direct Payment Issues

Meanwhile, the scheme also acknowledges that challenges persist. They noted that around 14% of students are still yet to access the full benefits of their bursary and the new direct payment system.

NSFAS remains resolute in its commitment to seamless accessibility of funds, and we are actively working to resolve any remaining barriers that hinder the disbursement of allowances to these students.

The scheme says they will continue to collaborate and work with universities and TVET college officials, as well as student bodies, to enhance the academic experience of students. 

Khosa says that some of the onboarding issues students have been experiencing are mainly due to teething problems and completing the authentication processes.

NSFAS called on students to complete the authentication processes to ensure they can receive their allowances. Failure to complete the authentication process could result in delays of NSFAS allowance payments.  

They added that teams have been deployed to campuses around the country to assist students with authentication processes. 

Suggested Article:

New NSFAS Mastercard.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme has made strides in onboarding almost all bursary beneficiaries, but issues still persist. More than one million students are currently benefiting from NSFAS, but many are not able to access their allowances with some questioning the introduction of the scheme's new allowance payment system.




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