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Nzimande calls on NSFAS to finalize payments for 2024

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Nzimande calls on NSFAS to finalize payments for 2024

Nzimande calls on NSFAS to finalize payments for 2024.In a media briefing, Minister Blade Nzimande urges the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to swiftly resolve outstanding payments from 2023, citing potential registration issues for students in 2024.

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Impact of Unpaid Allowances on Students

Thousands of students faced hardships, such as lack of travel arrangements and money for food, as unpaid NSFAS allowances impacted the North-West University (NWU) at the end of 2023.

Minister Warning on Registration Denial

Minister Nzimande emphasizes the risk of institutions denying registration due to unpaid NSFAS fees, potentially hindering students’ academic progress at the beginning of the 2024 academic year.

NSFAS Confirmation and Resolution Efforts

NSFAS confirms that out of 20,000 outstanding allowances, 9,128 have been resolved, and the remaining 11,000 are prioritized for processing as part of the normal 2024 disbursement procedure.

Causes of Delay and Minister Call for Accuracy

The delay in payments is attributed to a lag in the submission of registration data by universities. Minister Nzimande calls on institutions to submit accurate and timely registration data to prevent further delays in allowance payments.

Minister Call for Stricter Management in 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, Minister Nzimande calls for stricter management of the registration adjustment process by NSFAS and emphasizes the crucial role of accurate registration information submitted by institutions.

Conclusion

In addressing the challenges faced by NSFAS, Minister Nzimande emphasizes the urgency of resolving outstanding payments, highlights the impact on students, warns against registration denials, and calls for improved processes in 2024 to ensure a smoother academic year. It is crucial for NSFAS and institutions to collaborate and expedite the resolution of outstanding cases to avoid hindering students’ education.

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NSFAS News

NSFAS Board Dissolution Reasons

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NSFAS Board Dissolution Reasons

NSFAS Board Dissolution Reasons. More than a million students rely on funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). However, challenges with their funding have led to the decision by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to dissolve the NSFAS board. This article explores the reasons behind this decision and its implications.

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Challenges Leading to the Dissolution

Last week, Minister Nzimande decided to dissolve the NSFAS board due to its failure to ensure the financial aid scheme implemented its responsibilities effectively. The board had been unable to carry out basic responsibilities allocated to it by the Minister and the Act governing NSFAS.

NSFAS Role and Responsibilities

NSFAS provides comprehensive bursaries and student loans to deserving students enrolled in approved courses at universities and TVET colleges. This funding covers tuition and registration fees, as well as allowances for food, accommodation, and learning materials. However, recent non-payment of allowances put students at risk, prompting urgent action from the Minister.

Reasons for Dissolution

Minister Nzimande explained that the board had failed to fulfil its duties, including implementing recommendations, ensuring timely payment of student allowances, submitting reports to Parliament, managing organizational capacity issues, and addressing student concerns promptly.

Issues Identified

The dissolution was partly due to irregularities related to the appointment of service providers for direct allowance payments, as highlighted in the Werksmans report. Recommendations from the report, including terminating contracts of certain service providers, were not fully implemented by NSFAS.

Impact of Board Failure

The board’s failure to distribute student allowances caused stress for students and families and jeopardized the stability of some TVET colleges and universities. Additionally, the board’s inability to consult on guidelines for Missing Middle Funding and implement solutions further hindered progress in addressing financial aid gaps.

Reactions and Endorsements

Stakeholders, including student structures and the Parliamentary Higher Education Committee, welcomed the dissolution. The committee endorsed the Minister’s actions, citing NSFAS’s failure to disburse funds effectively and submit required reports to Parliament.

Appointment of Administrator

Following the dissolution, Minister Nzimande appointed Sithembiso Freeman Nomvalo as the new Administrator for NSFAS. Nomvalo will oversee the governance, management, and administration of NSFAS for 12 months, including developing guidelines for Missing Middle Funding.

Conclusion

The dissolution of the NSFAS board reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring effective management of student funding. The appointment of a new Administrator signals a fresh start for NSFAS, with a focus on addressing the challenges that have plagued the scheme and improving its efficiency in supporting students in need.

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