NSFAS has processed almost all applications – Blade Nzimande

Minister says fund and institutions must continue to work together during lockdown

Minister Blade Nzimande on NSFAS Covid-19 contingency plan and disbursements

26 March 2020

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, is pleased with the report from the NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen on the contingency plans and disbursements of NSFAS student bursaries during the COVAD-19 lockdown period.

According to the report, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, (NSFAS) has processed almost all the applications received to date including the TVETs and University walk-ins received during the first quarter of 2020.

NSFAS made provisional funding available to four-hundred and forty-eight thousand and thirty-eight (448 038) university students for the academic year 2020, of which three hundred and fifty thousand and two hundred and eighty-nine (350 289) registration records from institutions have been received. 

“Total upfront payments made to institutions to date is an amount of R4,2 billion.  This amount includes the 2nd upfront payment of R677 million which was paid to assist with transport and accommodation during the registration period,” said Minister Nzimande. 

The Minister further said that institutions were advised to disburse the allowances to all NSFAS funded and registered students. This includes disbursements based on registration data from institutions implemented to pay two hundred and eighty-two thousand and four hundred and sixty-four (282 464) students.  

Minister Nzimande said that NSFAS and institutions must continue to work together during the lockdown to ensure complete reconciliation of registration data. 

For the 2020 academic year, NSFAS made provisional funding available to two hundred and sixty-six thousand and two hundred and seventy-four (266 274) TVET students of which 185 876 registrations have been received.  

“NSFAS has already made an upfront tuition to TVETs of R623 million which comprises 20% of the tuition allocation to Colleges.  This money was meant to assist Colleges with cash flow and waive registration fees for students,” said Minister Nzimande.

Minister Nzimande said that allowances in the TVETs sector have already been paid to 147,663 students amounting to R594 million.   

“Currently NSFAS is processing payments that will be disbursed to 102, 950 (69 129 wallet and 33821 Institutional Direct Payments) students to the value of R316 million confirmed the Minister.

Out of the one hundred and thirty-one thousand and thirty-two (131 032) TVETs walk in applications received, ninety-three thousand and nine hundred and fifty-two (93 952) of these applications are financially eligible, although fifteen thousand eight hundred and sixty-one (15 861) students have incomplete documents. This setback will be followed up by the NSFAS Contact Centre.  

University walk in applications received were nineteen thousand nine hundred and thirty (19 930). Of these applications six thousand one hundred and seven (6147) applications have been assessed and are funding eligible.

Issued by Ishmael Mnisi, 26 March 2020