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NSFAS facing lockdown challenges but has disbursed R12bn in student funding

Dr Randall Carolissen, the financial aid scheme’s administrator, said that since the lockdown started, they had continued paying all institutions and had closed most backlogs.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen. Picture: @myNSFAS/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is continuing to operate during the lockdown and has disbursed R12 billion to institutions to fund students.

On Monday, the entity briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology on its strategic and annual performance plans.

The organisation said that it was facing a number of challenges because of the lockdown.

Dr Randall Carolissen, the financial aid scheme’s administrator, said that since the lockdown started, they had continued paying all institutions and had closed most backlogs.

"We have disbursed close to R12 billion so far to 650,000 students for which we have received registrations for and we have to get those funds over to institutions."

He said that they were now moving towards a new model of direct payments to student bank accounts, but that tender was still out.

Carolissen said that they were facing a number of challenges and had to rethink the way they did business, like using a virtual operating model because its offices were closed.

"The request for proposals is out at the moment and it will probably in all likelihood happen in 2021."