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Nsfas R45 000 Allowance Cap Remains As Allowances Increase



Nsfas R45 000 Allowance Cap Remains As Allowances Increase

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme and the Department of Higher Education have officially confirmed that allowances will be increased. Student outcries and interventions by the South African Union of Students led to this increase.

Nsfas R45 000 Allowance Cap Remains As Allowances Increase

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In response to a proposal put forward by the South African Union of Students (SAUS), the Department of Higher Education has decided to increase allowances distributed under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). A major step in the right direction has been taken.

Living allowances for students funded by the NSFAS bursary have increased by 10% to R16 500 per year, up from R15 750 previously.

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According to a statement released by the department:

  • This is a significant development given the reality that in the past three years, no increment was made on student allowances. This is an effort not only to acknowledge the impact of inflation on students’ livelihood, but a contribution to ease the economic disadvantages suffered by students.  

When Nsfas and SAUS met, Nsfas realized that amendments needed to be made to meet the needs of students, which led to a proposal being presented to Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education.

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As part of the scheme, Nsfas allowances will also be backdated to the start of the 2023 academic year. Nsfas will distribute the difference between the new and old amounts for February.

The NSFAS will fund approximately 1 million students in the 2023 academic year. Accommodation allowances for these students will be capped at R45 000 per year, which has caused some controversy.

This is not enough to pay their rent every month, according to many students. In spite of the increase in living allowances, the NSFAS cap remains.

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Spokesperson for Nsfas, Slumezi Skosana, said:

  • There hasn’t been any change and there isn’t going to be a change anytime soon. We’ve been in discussions with all stakeholders to try and see how the situation can be mitigated.

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The accommodation allowance for university-administered and university-catered accommodation has increased slightly to R61 500. Institutions will be notified of the final implementation dates during the week of 20 March 2023, according to the statement.

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