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How NSFAS Plans To Deal With Allowance Issues After Parliament Raises Concerns

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How NSFAS Plans To Deal With Allowance

The NSFAS bank account sought to give students increased control over their allowances and value added services. However, several challenges have prevented the direct payment system from providing students with the services they were promised. 

Fintech service providers contracted to pay National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances to students were called to parliament to address several concerns. Students have experienced several challenges in trying to access their allowances. 

NSFAS funds more than one million students enrolled at public tertiary education institutions in South Africa. These students not only receive money for tuition and registration but also receive several allowances to cover costs associated with their studies.  

Students are provided with an accommodation allowance, meal allowance and a stationery allowance. Students who live near to their campus may receive a transport allowance instead of an accommodation allowance.  

In 2022, NSFAS Introduced a direct allowance payment system Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. The direct system was expanded to include universities in 2023.

The direct allowance payment system sought to give students the confidence that their allowances will be paid on time. Students were also promised value added services with the new allowance payment solution. 

However, several issues have been raised by students regarding the direct payment system since its implementation. This includes difficulty registering on the system, exorbitant bank charges and difficulty accessing their NSFAS allowance money. 

Concerns were also raised regarding the service providers appointed to bring the new payment solution to students. The four service providers appointed by NSFAS to pay students allowances were Ezaga, Coinvest, Norocco and Tenet Technologies. 

Fintech Companies Respond

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science, and Innovation convened in October 2023 to hear presentations from Minister Blade Nzimande, NSFAS officials, and service providers responsible for student payments. 

Fintech service providers acknowledge the challenges students face in using their services, reaching the call centre for assistance, onboarding issues, higher account fees, and delayed NSFAS allowance disbursements due to NSFAS delays. 

One company also revealed that more than 75% of students choose immediate EFT transactions when their allowances arrive late, incurring higher fees. They also blamed negative media coverage and political interference for some of the challenges facing people. 

Political interference has unfortunately impeded on the student’s rights to allow for TenetTechnology to offer support in registering their bank account and to receive their NSFAS BankCard. Media interference and incorrect information sharing discredits Tenet Technology as a service provider and created confusion for the NSFAS beneficiary in the Direct Payment Programme.  

Fintech service providers say several strategies are being put in place: ongoing collaboration with educational institutions and SRCs, a streamlined query system with automated responses and continuing discussions with NSFAS to address operational issues. 

They are also working on call centre capacity expansion, partnerships with student bodies for affordable education, launching Value Added Services for student support, and continued on-ground presence to address problems and assist with onboarding.

NSFAS Working To Resolve Challenges 

NSFAS also revealed that their seven-point plan to resolve allowance payment issues is currently in progress. 

Their seven point plan includes the formation of two teams reporting directly to the Acting CEO, who are tasked with observing the challenges faced by students during visits to universities and TVET Colleges. 

These teams compile their findings in a written report for the Acting CEO, who, in turn, develops a response strategy. 

In early October, the Acting CEO was set to present these findings to the Board, which will review the report and make necessary amendments. Based on the outcomes of these steps, the decision to make the results public will be subject to shareholder thoughts and considerations.

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VACANCIES & INTERNS

GSK: Finance Internships 2024 – StudentRoom.co.za

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GSK invites unemployed graduates to apply for Finance Internship Programme 2024.

Internship Application Closing Date: Not specified

Internship Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

As a Finance Analyst you will be responsible for supporting the South Africa Finance function by preparing monthly journals, reconciliations and SG&A accounts. You will also participate in ad-hoc activities supporting the Finance Director & SA operating business units.

This role will provide you the opportunity to lead key activities to progress your career. The salary offered for this position is a fixed amount of R 15, 000 monthly plus an annual bonus (targeted at 12% of annual salary).

Responsibilities:

These responsibilities include some of the following:

  • Month end close activities including preparing journals, reports and reconciliations
  • Performing and evaluating the performance of financial controls
  • Monitoring and reporting on the outcome of all SA finance controls
  • Actual vs Budget variance analysis and business partnering for commercial units
  • Preparing headcount and SG&A commentary for senior managers
  • Headcount reporting and budgeting
  • Government document submissions following annual sales price benchmarking
  • Managing 3rd party insurance policies and processes
  • Ad-hoc support for Finance Director & Finance Business Partner
  • Support the Finance Director in contributions to the development and delivery of strategic objectives of defined projects
  • Drive continuous improvement in processes and partnering, enhancing efficiencies and supporting senior management

Requirements:

Bachelor’s Degree in: Accounting / Finance / Economics

Or

Previous working experience in an Accounting role

Skills and Competencies:

  • Proficient in basic data analysis
  • Proficient in Excel
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Understanding of finance compliance & controls
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of people

How to Apply

Click here to apply online for the GSK: Finance Internship Programme 2024



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VACANCIES & INTERNS

Air Liquid: HR Internships 2024

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Air Liquid invites unemployed graduates to apply for HR Internship Programme 2024.

Internship Application Closing Date: Not specified

Internship Location: Alrode, Alberton, South Africa

The HR Intern acts as a tactical partner to support the company in the implementation of its business plan and overall HR strategy through the effective implementation of HR best practices. Working in alignment with HR’s objectives and plans, the HR Intern will work closely with HR colleagues, the HR transformation project team, managers and employees. The incumbent will act as an ambassador for the HR function as a whole and demonstrate key HR behaviours and values in order to contribute to a positive and enriching employee experience at Air Liquide.

  • Navigate and confidentially utilize various HRIS to complete core HR tasks across the employee life cycle
  • Extract and analyze a variety of reports from various HRIS
  • Learn Air Liquide’s ERP (Navision), how it works in real time, how to generate a variety of POs, complete cost analyses, account reconciliation and payment management
  • Support ongoing data management activities and understand various compliance requirements relating to employee data management
  • Participate in the creation/revision/review of HR policies and procedures
  • Data preparation activities and database management
  • Provide direct support to AMEI COE HRBP, Change Management & Employee Experience Centres of Excellence as needed.
  • Create communications and presentation materials related to business partnering, managing change and employee experience.
  • Other HR administrative activities which will contribute to knowledge acquisition of HR principles and practices across Talent Development, Rewards, Employee Engagement, and Employee Relations, OD & Change Management

___________________

Are you a MATCH?

Requirements 

Education

  • Preferably with a Bachelor’s Degree in HR or Business Management

Experience 

  • Solid foundation of knowledge across core areas of HR Management
  • Demonstrable understanding of HRIS platforms
  • Strong skills in extracting and synthesizing a variety of reports using raw employee data
  • Superior Excel/Google Sheets skills combined with strong analytical skills
  • Good written and verbal communication skills combined with a service oriented manner
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Self-motivated and able to multi-task across a variety of HR domains with minimal supervision
  • Can commit to working full-time (42hrs/week) for 12 months

How to apply

Click here to apply online for Air Liquid: HR Internships 2024



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VACANCIES & INTERNS

Woodlands Dairy: Production Learnerships 2024

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Woodlands Dairy invites unemployed youth to apply for Production Learnership Programme 2024.

Learnership Application Closing Date: 08 April 2024

Learnership Location: Humansdorp, Eastern Cape

PRODUCTION/PACKAGING INTERNSHIP IN UHT & ESL PRODUCTION

Woodlands Dairy is committed to providing opportunities for qualifying candidates to gain skills, knowledge, and experience while positioning themselves for active participation in the labour market. Woodlands Dairy is offering a dairy internship programme targeted at unemployed graduates. Applications are invited from interested graduates who meet the minimum requirements and are interested in starting a career in dairy packaging and storage.


Who is eligible to apply?

Tertiary graduates in the fields of Industrial Engineering & Logistics Supply Chain.


Duration:

The internship programme is offered for a period of 12 Months.

How to apply

Click here to apply online for Woodlands Dairy: Production Learnerships 2024



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