We Must Make Sure Allowances Are Paid On Time - New NSFAS Administrator

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The newly appointed administrator of NSFAS addressed members of staff on Monday the emphasise the importance of their work. This includes taking accountability to ensure students are paid their NSFAS allowances on time. 

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The failure of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to pay allowances to students on time consistently has prompted urgent action from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Last week, Minister Blade Nzimande dissolved the NSFAS board and appointed an administrator to guide the scheme for the next 12 months. 

NSFAS provides comprehensive bursaries and student loans to deserving students enrolled in approved courses at universities and TVET colleges

The funding includes money for tuition and registration fees. In addition, NSFAS also provides several allowances to students for food, accommodation and learning materials. 

The non-payment of NSFAS allowances, the most critical aspect of NSFAS, in recent months together with several other failures, saw the minister dissolve the NSFAS board

Swiftly after the dissolution of the NSFAS board, Nzimande revealed that Sithembiso Freeman Nomvalo has been appointed as the new Administrator for NSFAS. Nomvalo will oversee the management, and administration of NSFAS for 12 months.

Administrator Addresses NSFAS Staff

On Monday, Nomvalo addressed NSFAS staff highlighting the importance of their work while also emphasising the need for accountability to ensure NSFAS carries out its core functions. 

I'm here because I've been fortunate enough to influence changes that have been positive and the simple formula is just being open about challenges that you face.

Nomvalo encouraged staff to be open about the challenges they are facing that could lead to challenges with NSFAS's core function of paying allowances to students. 

It is the responsibility of everyone in this room to seek solutions … It is your responsibility to snitch, and I am deliberate about this thing, because if you don’t tell me that you are in trouble … I'm not going to be able to put a mechanism in place to help that person succeed and make a difference. 

NSFAS’ failures to pay allowances during the last month intensified the need for changes in the leadership structure of the financial aid scheme. Nomvalo emphasised that all staff have a role to play in ensuring allowances are distributed to students on time.

We know that we have to pay every month, so if the person who is critical for that process of payment … is not getting to do what he needs to do … if you extinguish that problem, there is no fire to put out later. 

Nomvula further encouraged staff to come forward if members of the NSFAS team are not pulling their weight. They explained that timely identification of challenges will ensure that they can be resolved before they negatively impact the scheme. 

"If you don't snitch, NSFAS dies. When you are raising that issue, you are raising it so it can be resolved in time."

Suggested Article:

nsfas board

More than a million students rely on funding from NSFAS. Challenges with their funding led Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to dissolve the NSFAS board. 

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