NSFAS to introduce new perks, more money for 2023 students


University and TVET students will get an increase in their allowances for the 2023 academic year

Minister of higher education, science and innovation Blade Nzimande gives an update on the readiness of NSFAS for the 2023 academic year.
Image: Twitter/@MyNSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has introduced new methods to improve student funding, including an increase in allowances.

Minister of higher education, science and innovation Blade Nzimande and NSFAS gave an update on their readiness for the academic year on Tuesday. This included issues of approved budgets, changes in allowances, eligibility criteria and the ongoing issue of student accommodation. Nzimande’s briefing comes ahead of the closing of the NSFAS applications at midnight on Tuesday.

NSFAS has set aside R47bn to fund an estimated 900,000 beneficiaries. However, NSFAS students will get an inflation-related 5% increase on all but living allowances.

The living allowance has increased by 10% to R1,650 compared with the 2022 financial year.

“The increase is above inflation, taking into account that for three years there was no increase,” Nzimande said.

Students living in catered university accommodation will receive a R5,460 learning material allowance for the year. Accommodation will be capped at an annual R61,500.

Those living in self-catering university accommodation will receive a R16,500 annual living allowance and a capped accommodation allowance of R45,000. This is the same for students who live in private accredited accommodation.

Those living with relatives will receive a R16,500 annual living allowance.

As for TVET students, those living in a catered residence offered by the college will receive an accommodation allowance of R54,045 for the year.

For the first time, those living in self-catered accommodation leased by the college will receive a R6,000 living allowance, R3,045 for personal care and a capped R45,000 including living allowance paid by the college. This also applies to TVET students living in private accommodation.

NSFAS chair Ernest Khosa said the allowances would be paid directly into the students’ NSFAS bank accounts. Students will first have to complete the direct payment onboarding process to receive the payment, Khosa said.

“We want to pay them on the 25th of every month to ensure certainty among students. The reason we went the banking route is to make sure we deal with issues of security. The previous system we used for TVET colleges was a wallet system and was susceptible to fraud,” he said.

Meanwhile, NSFAS is engaging cellphone network providers for a partnership to provide students with student device packages. These will include a laptop and monthly preloaded data, said Khosa.

“NSFAS is aiming to conclude this process during the first quarter of the 2023 academic year,” he said.


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