NSFAS pays out over R600m to settle students' historic debt

Last year, the scheme was allocated over R900 million to pay out to NSFAS-funded students who owed money to their universities.

Dr Randall Carolissen. Picture: @RJCarolissen/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has paid out over R600 million to settle students' historic debt.

Last year, the scheme was allocated over R900 million to pay out to NSFAS-funded students who owed money to their universities.

NSFAS’ administrator Randall Carolissen explained who qualified for these repayments.

“This was made available for NSFAS students who were in the system pre-2018 and it was subject to cap because post the 2017 December announcement, all students are fully funded and there is no reason for debt accumulation,” Carolissen said.

He said the first phase saw many debt relief applications from students but several were rejected.

“We have received R1.7 billion worth of applications and we have worked through that and cleaned it up, and then stripped out all those who do not qualify. Roughly R450 million then qualified and we have paid that out to institutions.”

Some criteria changes were made in the second phase to protect the fiscus as this money was meant to last until 2022.