Nzimande Advocates for Registration Rights Despite Unpaid Fees. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides comprehensive bursaries, covering accommodation, meals, stationery, and fees to ensure students’ well-being. However, in 2023, numerous students faced challenges as they did not receive their entitled NSFAS allowances.
Nzimande Advocates for Registration Rights Despite Unpaid Fees
Minister Blade Nzimande urged NSFAS to promptly settle outstanding payments from the previous year. Thousands of students, as reported by Careers Portal, were affected by the delay in receiving their NSFAS allowances in 2023.
Campus Impact: NWU Stranded Students
The consequences of unpaid allowances were evident at North West University (NWU) in 2023. Stranded students faced difficulties with travel arrangements, lacked funds for food, and were unable to return home due to the delayed NSFAS allowances.
State of Readiness for 2024 Academic Year
During a media briefing on the 2024 academic year’s readiness, Minister Nzimande emphasized the importance of not hindering affected students’ registration. Denying registration to students with unpaid NSFAS fees could lead to missed coursework opportunities at the beginning of the academic year.
Call for Collaboration
The minister called upon NSFAS and institutions to work together to promptly resolve outstanding cases. Despite ongoing resolutions, institutions were urged not to deny registration to NSFAS-funded students with outstanding payments for the current cycle.
NSFAS Confirmation and Future Disbursements
NSFAS confirmed that 9128 of the 20,000 outstanding allowances have been successfully resolved. The remaining 11,000 allowances are prioritized for processing in the 2024 disbursement procedure.
Addressing Delays and Strict Management
In a statement on January 18, 2024, NSFAS attributed delayed payments to a delay in registration data submission by universities. Minister Nzimande acknowledged that reconciliation with institutions, particularly regarding registration data changes, contributed to the delay. The call for institutions to submit accurate and timely registration data was emphasized to prevent future allowance payment delays.
Stricter Management for 2024
Looking ahead, Minister Nzimande is advocating for stricter management of the registration adjustment process in 2024. Both NSFAS and institutions are urged to ensure accurate registration information is submitted promptly to prevent disruptions in payment processes.