R1.2 billion paid to clear payments backlog

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has successfully processed an outstanding payment of R1.2 billion to students and institutions. Some of this amount is for students whose allowances were delayed early this year. The payments were made on Thursday, August 30, 2018 in line the commitment made by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor in Parliament on Wednesday that students would start receiving their delayed allowances.

There are two processes that were followed separately to pay the funds. R1.2 billion was paid to the institutions to advance the funds into student’s account while the other payment of R60 million was made through the sBux system � making instant access to allowances via a cellphone solution. From today NSFAS will start with issuing the remittance report to ensure that we assist the institutions to allocate the funds accordingly as rapidly as possible to the right students, said NSFAS Acting Chief Financial Officer Morgan Nhiwatiwa.

The process to deal with the backlog started 10 days ago when Dr Randall Carolissen was appointed the NSFAS Administrator to ensure, amongst other priorities, that payments are processed urgently to pave the opening the 2019 application on Monday 03, 2018.

In total, last night’s payments cleared a backlog of more than 25 000 students who have signed their agreements. This includes a large cohort of 12 850 students at the University of South Africa who will receive credit for book vouchers which were delayed. The success of this backlog was also boosted by 19 000 students who responded positively to the signing campaign #SignYourNBA that was launched by NSFAS on Monday.

Students who have not signed their agreements are encouraged to approach the student support services or the financial aid office at their institution to be assisted by NSFAS agents who are deployed in various institutions. 50 technical experts have been deployed across the country to deal with the backlog and assist students with signing of agreements.

The new NSFAS Administrator, Dr Carolissen, has engaged with all Vice-Chancellors, TVET College Principals and student leaderships, and received an overwhelming support to ensure that the problems are resolved, and students are paid. He will be meeting with the student leadership today, and other stakeholders as part of the 2019 application cycle.

Source: Government of South Africa