Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor released a statement today announcing that the 2019 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) applications will be opened on Monday, September 3. After numerous delays, problems and protests, it had been decided to halt the application process, which normally starts on August 1 each year.

The institution has put in place a comprehensive communications plan by partnering with institutions of higher learning and training, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), community structures and organisations to ensure that all eligible students are reached. Once a student has applied to NSFAS, a maximum waiting period before getting a notice of acknowledgement is one week. Should a student not receive the acknowledgement, they are requested to call NSFAS’s toll free call centre, which is 08000 NSFAS (67327).

The statement also outlined progress made in in resolving NSFAS issues:

  • Staff members have been deployed to all institutions to address the bottlenecks that have resulted.
  • With funds available, steady progress is being made in getting support to qualifying students.
  • Institutions and SRCs have been working to ensure that students complete and sign the necessary agreements.

Of the 273,000 students entering at TVET colleges and universities for the first time, a total of 211,000 have received the relevant funds, while close to 239,000 of the 241,000 returning students have been successfully linked to the system.

Students are urged to sign any outstanding NSFAS bursary agreements to ensure that their 2019 applications proceed smoothly. The MyNSFAS Online portal is available for students to update their details immediately.