The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) says matriculants will be able to use the new online application system from Monday.

The newly tested system allows for candidates seeking financial aid, to receive instant notice once their applications have been received.

The process was suspended for a month after Higher Education Minister, Naledi Pandor ordered that NSFAS clear the 2017/18 applications and funding backlog before taking new applications.

NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo says, “The new system allows the student to have instant confirmation that their application has been received. The new application process takes only five minutes for students to complete provided they do have their supporting documents that are necessary. By twelve o’clock midnight, all learners will have the opportunity to apply for financial aid.”

NSFAS Administrator Randal Carolissen says the process of clearing the 1,2 billion rand backlog in payments is running smoothly and that they’re ready for new applications.

“We have paid out around 30-thousand students between yesterday and this morning and there is still a number of students that we need to attach but the process is now beginning to run much more smoothly. We are faced with challenges with regard to data integration so there is a lot of manual checking that needs to happen and therefore we urged students to finalise and make sure that their contact details are correct, because if its correct the money will go through. But we can’t pay into a void or to wrong accounts.”