There is no crisis at NSFAS - Nzimande

There is no crisis at NSFAS - Nzimande

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has denied claims of a crisis at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas).

Nzimande urges NSFAS beneficiaries to register with new payment system

Nzimande addressed the media in Pretoria on Tuesday on the status of the funding scheme.

"I must upfront indicate that Nsfas, insofar as it successfully services the needs to the vast majority of poor students, is not in a crisis as many of our detractors would want the public to believe.

"In fact, it is for this reason that our detractors want to project Nsfas as being in a crisis because they want to discredit one of the most successful schemes of this ANC-led government, we may be having glitches here and there, but he said the scheme is not in a crisis," he said.

Nzimande said the scheme has made strides with the new direct payment system, which has led to student protests at several universities. 

The introduction of the system has been mired in controversy, with students complaining excessive fee charges, inaccessibility of service providers and lack of clarity on how to access funds.

The grievances also led to protests at several tertiary institutions. 


Nzimande said the system is meant to reduce the amount of time it takes for students to receieve payments.

He added that Nsfas has received over 1.1 million applications through the online application, and 156 700 are from SASSA beneficiaries.

The department is working with Home Affairs and South African Revenue Services to verify all Nsfas applications for funding to ensure the correct processing of students applications.

Nzimade says the scheme received a total of 178 426 appeals from disqualified students.

"Out of those appeals 63 331 were approved and 8528 appeals were rejected. Out of these 178 426 appeals received, 30 712 were invalid appeals, meaning students either withdrew, or their appeals were duplicated," he said.


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