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No stress: Thousands of students on NSFAS bursaries get their money

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor.
Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

A total of R1.2-billion has been paid to students and institutions by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)‚ including the amounts owing to students whose allowances were delayed early this year‚ the entity said on Friday.

In total‚ payments made by Thursday night 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 process to deal with the backlog started 10 days ago‚ when Dr Randall Carolissen was appointed the NSFAS administrator to ensure‚ among other priorities‚ that payments were processed urgently to pave the way for the opening of the 2019 applications on Monday‚ September 3.

Explaining this week's payment processes‚ NSFAS acting chief financial officer Morgan Nhiwatiwa said in a statement: “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 accounts 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.”

Students who have not signed their agreements are encouraged to go to the student support services or the financial aid office at their institution. The scheme said 50 technical experts have been sent to these institutions to deal with the backlog and assist students who still had to sign agreements.

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