The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is urging students to get their applications in as the deadline of November 30 approaches.

NSFAS will be visiting hometowns of prospective students who still have not applied for the government bursary scheme. The purpose of the intensified outreach programme is to reach rural and remote communities, as well as areas with a low number of applicants. This has put much of the focus on the Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

The institution has come under fire over the last two months over allegations of fraud and the arrest of three staffers in Cape Town. Strike action by staff affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at the end of October was resolved in the first week of November without affecting 2020 applications. NSFAS also declared cumulative irregular expenditure of R7.5 billion in the 2018/19 financial year including R1-billion in incorrect payments made to students and R26million owed to graduates who were overcharged on their loans.

To date NSFAS has received 348,240 applications nationwide, with KwaZulu Natal (100,130), Gauteng (70,919), and Limpopo (54,601) provinces continuing to lead with the highest number of applications received. So far only 1,001 applications have been received from people living with disability. Applicants who do not have access to computer facilities and smart phones, can visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) offices, local libraries, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Thusong Centres and Department of Basic Education (DBE) District Teacher Development Centres nationwide. – Read the full press release for more information.

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