Over the past few months, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received tons of backlash from students and stakeholders alike regarding several issues, particularly delays in distributing student allowances and a problematic banking system
In a recent statement, the financial aid scheme confirmed that student allowances for beneficiaries studying at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges been paid for the month of September 2023.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has today, 25 August 2023, made a payment of R405 million to 108,534 beneficiaries studying and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges countrywide for the month of September.
The bursary scheme noted that the payments were made directly to the students through the new NSFAS bank account system.
NSFAS Direct Payment System
The Direct Payment solution was introduced at TVET colleges in November 2022. 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.
According to NSFAS, they have disbursed a total of R 3,1 billion to 206,539 TVET college beneficiaries since the commencement of the 2023 academic year.
This comes as more students are registered and onboarded onto the direct payment system. NSFAS says the payments are made as per valid registration data received from institutions.
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.
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,“NSFAS remains committed to ensuring that all NSFAS 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.”
The bursary scheme recently revealed that nearly 95% of students enrolled for TVET colleges courses are funded by NSFAS and students who have a grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 certificate can apply to study at a TVET College.
NSFAS criteria for TVET students
- Must be a South African citizen
- Must be registered or intending to register on a PLP, NC(V) or Report 191 programme at any public TVET College in South Africa
- Must be admitted/received a firm offer for enrolment in a College
- Must be in need of financial assistance
- Applicants will qualify if they fall within the maximum threshold of up to R350 000 of combined gross family income per annum
- Returning students must demonstrate proven and accepted academic performance (academically deserving) in line with the College’s progression policy or the progression prescriptions of the Bursary Rules and Guidelines (whichever is higher)
- Must not be enrolling for a qualification that duplicates previous learning that was state-funded
The last chance for students enrolled in approved programmes at TVET colleges to apply for NSFAS funding during the Semester 2 application window has passed and closed, meaning the Trimester 3 application window will soon open.
NSFAS Trimester 3 applications for TVET College students will open on 4 September 2023 and close on 20 September 2023.
To find out more about the NSFAS bursary, applications and the latest changes, head to our NSFAS page.