NSFAS payments backlog cleared after R1.2bn payout

An outstanding payment of R1.2bn has been "successfully processed" to students and institutions by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), it said on Friday.

Work on the backlog started 10 days ago following the appointment of Randall Carolissen as the NSFAS administrator and included ensuring that payments were processed urgently ahead of the opening of 2019 applications on Monday, the scheme's statement reads.

"Some of this amount is for students whose allowances were delayed early this year. The payments were made on Thursday in line with the commitment made by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, in Parliament on Wednesday that students would start receiving their delayed allowances," the public entity said in a statement.

READ: NSFAS applications for 2019 to open on Monday - Pandor

NSFAS acting chief financial officer Morgan Nhiwatiwa said two separate processes were followed to pay the funds.

"R1.2bn was paid to the institutions to advance the funds into students' accounts while the other payment of R60m was made through the sBux system - making instant access to allowances via a cellphone solution," Nhiwatiwa said.

Technical experts deployed across the country

"From [Friday] NSFAS will start with issuing the remittance report to ensure that we assist the institutions to allocate the funds accordingly [and] as rapidly as possible to the right students."

READ: NSFAS' two centres of power

According to the scheme, the amounts paid out cleared a backlog of payments to more than 25 000 students who have signed their agreements.

It included 12 850 University of South Africa students who would receive credit for book vouchers which were delayed, NSFAS said.

"Students who have not signed their agreements are encouraged to approach the student support services or the financial aid office at their institution to be assisted by NSFAS agents who are deployed in various institutions.

"Fifty technical experts have been deployed across the country to deal with the backlog and assist students with signing of agreements."

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