A woman walks past the damaged Lviv National University of Nature Management

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) urged students at Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to submit their personal banking details to receive their NSFAS allowances.

NSFAS is a government entity under the Department of Higher Education and Training to provide financial support to disadvantaged students who wish to continue their studies at public universities or TVET colleges.

During a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday, NSFAS Administrator Freeman Nomvalo said the scheme has created a payment system to directly deposit allowances into TVET students' bank accounts, starting from April 26, 2024.

He shared that 211,591 students' bank accounts have been verified but 7,160 failed verifications due to issues like using parents' accounts instead of their personal ones. Nomvalo stressed that students must provide their personal banking details to ensure accurate verification and reduce risks.

"We have requested all TVET students who do not have bank accounts to open the bank accounts with banks of their own choice to avoid delays in the payment of their allowances," he said, SA News reported.

He added, "I want to call upon all students who have already uploaded their personal banking details and have received a notification through the myNSFAS portal indicating that the verification of their banking details has failed to please re-submit their correct banking details on the portal."

Nomvalo acknowledged the challenges faced by university students, mentioning that the direct payment method will only apply to TVET college students for now while university students will still get their allowances through their institutions as usual.

The NSFAS Administrator also discussed the challenges regarding student accommodation, especially the unpaid fees owed to private student accommodation landlords.

To deal with this issue, he said that NSFAS has set up a dedicated email - NSFASAccomProv@nsfas.org.za - and capacity has been established to address all disputes or concerns from landlords, urging them to only email their concerns about outstanding payments.

"All inquiries received will now be processed and will be paid end of May 2024. There may still be outstanding invoices at the end of May which will still need to be processed during the month of June," he said.

The administrator mentioned that NSFAS has started planning a national conference to prepare for future student accommodation needs, revealing that the conference is scheduled for September this year.