While most South African students attending a tertiary institution continue to worry about the impact of COVID-19, another factor for many is funding, which brings us to a recent announcement made by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) regarding how funds will be disbursed.

It specifically applies to those students currently attending TVET colleges across the country, and forms part of a number of new features that the organisation is looking to integrate into its system.

With regard to TVET college students, NSFAS says the 2021 academic year will see funds be sent via direct payments into bank accounts instead of the Wallet or institutional disbursement that has been happening previously.

The migration to this method has already begun, and NSFAS says 38 of the 50 TVET colleges that use the Wallet system have been migrated this year.

“This migration will eliminate third parties in the payment channel as part of NSFAS’ strategy to fully implement the student-centred model of paying allowances directly to the students,” added the organisation in a statement.

Hopefully then, this should provide students with a bit more peace of mind, and at the very least ensures that middle men and other barriers are removed when it comes to accessing necessary funds timeously.

The move to more innovative solutions is also intended to help the organisation stop fraudulent activity.

“By disbursing directly to student’s bank accounts, NSFAS will eradicate fraudulent activities and scams which students have been subjected to. Recipients of NSFAS disbursements will have the added security offered by administered accounts,” the organisation explains.

“The direct payment system is convenient and allows a student to be in charge and have access to their allowance 24/7 with no limitation or additional tedious bureaucratic processes,” it adds.

NSFAS has also urged students who would like to enroll at a public TVET college in 2021 to open banking accounts in preparation for the rollout of allowances through bank accounts.

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