NSFAS To Pay R30 billion In Financial Assistance To Students In Need

Students will also get a R275 monthly stipend for personal care from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas). Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) set up by government to provide financial assistance to students in covering academic costs, has faced many challenges.

NSFAS came under fire last year after Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor instructed the institution to halt funding for 2019 students because a backlog in disbursing aid for 2017 and 2018 had not been cleared.

NSFAS administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen began working at the institution late last year. He says it has managed to cover a lot of ground in making sure that students’ funds were cleared.

“We spent the first two months getting some money out to students. We wired at least R11 billion to institutions and further R4 billion directly to students’ accounts.”

— Dr Randall Carolissen, NSFAS administrator

“Whilst we did that we also had to prepare for 2019… there is still a long way to go.”

— Dr Randall Carolissen, NSFAS administrator

NSFAS was also embroiled in allegations of fraud and corruption when a R14 million was paid in a student’s account without being noticed.

Carolissen says that incident has assisted it in strengthening its controls to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

“We have extensive quality checks before we payout and we have to make sure that we look after the taxpayer’s money.”

— Dr Randall Carolissen, NSFAS administrator

According to Carolissen, NSFAS will be paying out R30 billion this year budgeted to support students in tertiary institutions.

To hear the rest of the conversation with Dr Randall Carolissen, listen below: