NSFAS explains funding allowances

Friday, March 31, 2017

Pretoria - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) says it has so far approved 49 461 students at five of the country’s 26 universities to receive funding directly from the scheme.

The five universities are Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Sol Plaatje University, University of South Africa, University of Venda and the Durban University of Technology.

Students at the remaining 21 universities receive their allowances directly from their respective institutions, and not from NSFAS, spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said on Thursday.

Mamabolo said to ensure that students receive allowances at these universities, NSFAS paid each university 15% of their respective allocations upfront on 16 January 2017. This was to cover for registration fees and student allowances.

The NSFAS explanation comes as students of the University of Venda in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, have been suspended due to protests over meal grants that have not been paid.

The students who are being funded by NSFAS say they have not received their meal grants, forcing them to live like “beggars.”

Mamabolo said the University of Venda has 6 443 NSFAS funded students, but the university has only been able to send registration confirmations of only 3 891 of these students to NSFAS in order for NSFAS to activate the students’ Loan Agreement Forms (LAFs) for the student allowances to be activated.

“Of these students 3 891, only 3 456 have signed their LAFs and 2 754 have received their allowances as of 30 March 2017,” explained Mamabolo.

With regard to the rest of students at all universities, as of 30 March 2017, NSFAS has approved 201 766 students for funding.

Of these, 152 305 students should receive their allowances at universities when they qualify.

Universities have so far sent us registration confirmations of 79 955 in total.

“We have generated LAFs for 69 413 of these students so far and 44 608 of them have signed the LAFs. NSFAS needs registration confirmations from universities for us to release LAFs, because students should only sign their LAFs once they commence their studies.”

Mamabolo said they have disbursed sBux allowances to 23 253 students out of a population of 49 461 students studying at universities.

“These numbers should not be treated as final figures. They are a status update as of today and will change as we receive more registrations from universities and disburse more LAFs from our side,” said Mamabolo. - SAnews.gov.za

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