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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

35 x ABSA: Trailblazer Learnerships 2024

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ABSA invites South African unemployed youth to apply for Trailblazer Learnership Programme 2024.

Learnership Location: Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town

Learnership Closing Date: 7 March 2024

Are you a recent graduate eager to dive deep into the dynamic world of banking? Are you driven by a passion for sales and the desire to excel in a challenging corporate environment? If so, the Absa CIB Trailblazer Programme is tailor-made for you!

Our year-long Trailblazer Learnership Programme is designed to provide unemployed, degreed individuals with an immersive experience in the core functions of banking. Through hands-on exposure to sales, product development, client onboarding, digital operations, and more, you’ll gain invaluable insights and skills that will pave the way for a rewarding career in the industry.

As a Trailblazer, you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside high-performing teams within Absa, where you’ll be mentored by seasoned professionals and guided through a structured development journey. Over the course of 12 months, you’ll complete an NQF Level 6 qualification funded by Absa, enhancing your knowledge and expertise in the field.

Our programme is divided into four cohorts, each focusing on key areas such as transactional banking sales, product management, trade digital operations, client onboarding, public sector and coverage. Throughout the programme, you’ll rotate within the business unit, gaining exposure to various facets of banking and honing your skills under the guidance of dedicated supervisors.

We’re looking for ambitious South African graduates who are eager to make their mark in the banking industry. If you’re someone who thrives in a dynamic environment, values continuous learning and growth, and is ready to embrace new challenges, then we want to hear from you.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to kickstart your career with Absa. Apply now and join us as we pave the way for innovation and excellence in the world of banking!

Essential requirements:

NQF Level 8 qualification with a minimum average of 70% within the following disciplines:

• Accounting

• Economics

• Finance

• Mathematics

• Statistics

• Computer Science

Eligibility Criteria

• Applicants must NOT be permanently employed

• Applicants cannot be registered with another Learnership

• Applicants MUST be South African citizens

• Proficient in Microsoft Suite of Applications

• Proficient English language skills

Closing Date: 7 March 2024

Location: JHB, Durban and CT

CLICK HERE TO APPLY



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Bell Equipment: Apprenticeships 2024 – StudentRoom.co.za

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Bell Equipment invites South African unemployed youth to apply for Apprenticeship Programme 2024.

Apprenticeship Location: Richards Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Apprenticeship Closing Date: 22 March 2024

Bell Equipment is seeking motivated individuals in Richards Bay, South Africa to join their apprenticeship programmes! Launch your career in a skilled trade through hands-on training and qualification opportunities.  

Apprenticeship Opportunities:

  • Auto Electrician
  • Boilermaker (Maintenance Department)
  • Millwright (Maintenance Department) (4 available positions)
  • Fitter (Maintenance Department) (2 available positions)
  • Airconditioner Mechanic (Tool & Design Department) (2 available positions)
  • Fitter & Turner (4 available positions)

How to apply

Click here to apply online for Bell Equipment: Apprenticeships 2024

Only applications with certified copies of all qualifications (school and college) plus id document & licence will be considered.

If you have not had a response to your application within 4 weeks of the closing date, please accept that your application has been unsuccessful.



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British American Tobacco (BAT): Graduate Internships 2024

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British American Tobacco (BAT) invites unemployed graduates to apply for Graduate Internship Programme 2024.

Internship Application Closing Date: Not specified

Internship Location: South Africa

What Does The Programme Offer?

  • A bespoke development plan that prepares you for a managerial role after the programme 
  • Accountability from day one through projects with a real impact on our progressive business
  • World-class leadership training in Global BAT Academy with fellow graduates and senior colleagues from around the world
  • Learning from industry experts and interaction with BAT professionals
  • Dynamic and multinational environment.

The following Internship Opportunities are open for applications:

Finance Global Graduate Programme

Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s in:

  • Finance,
  • Business,
  • Economics
  • or similar

Marketing Global Graduate Programme

Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s in:

  • Marketing,
  • Communication,
  • Business
  • or similar

Operations​​​​​​​ Global Graduate Programme

Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s in:

  • Engineering,
  • Economics,
  • Procurement,
  • Supply Chain,
  • Business Management,
  • or related

How to Apply

NB. Use the links given below to Apply

Finance Global Graduate Programme

Apply Online for the Finance Global Graduate Programme


Marketing Global Graduate Programme

Apply Online for the Marketing Global Graduate Programme


Operations​​​​​​​ Global Graduate Programme

Apply Online for the Operations Global Graduate Programme



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