The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) still has unresolved applications from 2017 and 2018 that stood at 83 186 as of 14th February, said the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, as she was responding to a parliamentary question about the backlog of administration earlier this week.

The Minister said that NSFAS had planned to address these issues on the 22nd February, last week Friday.

“Of these, 19 113 relate to unsigned loan/bursary agreements, the absence of signed contracts prevented NSFAS from making payments to the applicant or the educational institution at which they were registered,” said Pandor.

According to IOL News the Minister said that the scheme had experienced challenges in 2018, which included funding decisions, addressing the 2017 academic year backlog, the non-payment of allowances, and a weakness in data integration between NSFAS and institutions, this led the Minister to appoint Dr Randall Carolissen as the administrator of NSFAS.

The Minister noted that a further 64 073 outstanding cases where there were internal system issues that prevented final resolution of the bursary applications.

“Of these 54 807, 10 333 from 2017 band 44 474 from 2018 relate to changes in fees or allowance that, for a number of reasons are rejected by the processing algorithm. The causes of these rejections have now been identified, and the algorithm is being updated to resolve blockage,” concluded Pandor.

[Source – IOL News]