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Nzimande: NSFAS on much better footing since being under administration

By June, 500,000 students had been paid a total of about R9 billion, while just over 28,000 were still waiting for their allowances.

FILE: Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande on Friday said the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was on a much better footing since being placed under administration in August 2018.

By June, 500,000 students had been paid a total of about R9 billion, while just over 28,000 were still waiting for their allowances.

The bursary scheme covers students from families earning up to R350,000 a year at universities and TVET colleges for tuition and textbooks. It also subsidises living expenses and transport costs in some cases.

Nzimande was presenting his R108 billion budget at Parliament earlier on Tuesday.

He said once fully phased in by 2022, all qualifying students would have access to NSFAS support, which he expected to be about half the number of undergraduates at public universities.

“Since the appointment of the administrator, there have been some improvements and we’re working to ensure the stability of NSFAS in the short term, whilst I intend to appoint a ministerial task team to look much more deeply into the systems since now the scheme has expanded significantly and has shifted from being a loan scheme to a bursary scheme.”

Investment over the next three years would be R82 billion for university students and just over R20 billion for those at TVET colleges.

“We will also be ensuring that the transition between the administrator [of NSFAS] and the appointment of the new management is smooth.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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