Naledi Pandor 'confident' 2019 will be much better year for NSFAS

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor says putting Randall Carolissen in charge of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is one of the best decisions she’s taken as a minister.

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor updates media on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme applications for 2019. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor says she’s confident that 2019 will be a much better year for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

The past year has been dogged by payment backlogs.

NSFAS says a team is working around the clock to process the more than 400,000 applications it has received for financial support to study at tertiary institutions in 2019.

It says it also has systems in place to deal with those who didn’t meet Sunday’s application deadline, and who plan to apply for funding at registration in 2019.

Pandor says that putting Randall Carolissen in charge of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is one of her best decisions she’s taken as a minister.

The backlog of payments for the past financial year has largely been dealt with and the scheme is looking ahead to disbursing R32 billion to more than 777,000 students in 2019.

“NSFAS will work closely with institutions to ensure the integration of data is quick and seamless, to allow the timeous release of funds and to avoid any repetition of the delays of 2018.”

Applicants will receive an SMS or an email in early January informing them whether they meet the criteria for financial support, provided they have already been accepted at an institution of learning.

Pandor has appealed to students to inform NSFAS should they change their mobile number.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)