Manamela hears NSFAS progress in payments backlog

Students walking on a street
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Buti Manamela, has assured students dependent on financial aid, that problems at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) have been averted.

Thousands of students across the country failed to receive their study grants from the scheme. Manamela visited the NSFAS office in Cape Town on Tuesday where he was briefed about progress made regarding outstanding payments.

A few weeks ago, the Minister of Higher Education, Naledi Pandor, announced that the application process for students for the 2019 academic year had been halted. Pandor’s decision was due to a massive backlog in payment by NSFAS for the 2017/2018 academic year, leaving thousands of students in a financial crisis.

It now appears that things have taken a positive turn as online applications for next year kicked off this week.

“What I am also excited about is the fact that progress has been made with regards to backlog issues the number of students who have been waiting for payments have now been reduced.”

Last month, Pandor appointed Doctor Randall Carolissen, as NSFAS administrator following the resignation of the scheme’s chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana.

Carolissen says over the last two weeks a large percentage of the backlogs have been cleared.

Affected students are breathing a sigh of relief.

Management issues at the scheme were also placed under the spotlight as a result of payment constraints, in addition to the resignation of NSFAS board chairman, the CEO, Steven Zwane, has also been suspended and the scheme’s board has been dissolved.