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Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

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Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System. The implementation of a new banking system for students funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in the middle of the academic year has sparked dissatisfaction among university administrators. Students have expressed concerns about the new system’s lack of communication, high banking service costs, and the decision to implement it during the academic year.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

The new “Bank Account” system, according to NSFAS, was implemented to accommodate the growing number of students receiving funding from the scheme. With over one million students funded this year alone, the new system aims to ensure that allowances for food, transportation, and living expenses are distributed in a secure and efficient manner. Previously, NSFAS funds were distributed to universities, who then distributed the funds to NSFAS students.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

While the NSFAS Bank Account was first made available to students at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in 2022, it has only recently been made available to university students.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

Students have expressed concerns, with some reporting that their allowances have not been paid, and there is confusion about how the new system works. Students seeking help at the NSFAS offices on Cape Town’s Foreshore have been advised to be patient because staff members have provided limited information.

Masibulele Siqingatha, a first-year marketing student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), shared his experience of receiving his allowance without issue prior to the implementation of the new banking system. Siqingatha is now being reviewed for funding eligibility, which he finds perplexing given that he has already been receiving NSFAS funding for half a year.Masibulele Siqingatha, a first-year marketing student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), shared his experience of receiving his allowance without issue prior to the implementation of the new banking system. Siqingatha is now being reviewed for funding eligibility, which he finds perplexing given that he has already been receiving NSFAS funding for half a year.

Siqingatha was told to wait for communication from Tenet Technology, one of the four companies involved in the new banking system, during his visit to the NSFAS office. However, he has yet to receive a response or a timetable for responding to his questions.Another CPUT student, Anesipho Moyake, had no problems with the new system at first, but has yet to receive her July funds. She noticed that the funds had not appeared in her Tenet bank account, which led her to suspect that something was wrong and express her fears that it was a scam.

Unresolved Issues

Despite the fact that Daily Maverick sent questions about the new system to NSFAS by the deadline, the organization had not responded. Questions directed to Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, were redirected to NSFAS.In response to the numerous questions about NSFAS on social media, Minister Nzimande took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. He stated that he had directed NSFAS to address all of the student concerns and that they were planning a media engagement to discuss the issue in greater depth.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

Outa Expresses Concerns About the NSFAS Banking System

The Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has intervened to raise concerns about NSFAS’s new banking system. Outa expressed concern in February that NSFAS had hired companies without proper banking licenses or VAT registrations. Outa noted that of the four companies tasked with distributing student funds – Coinvest Africa, Tenet Technology, Norraco Corporation, and Ezaga Holdings – only Ezaga Holdings had a banking license, which was a mandatory bid requirement. Outa also revealed that two of the companies, Norraco and Tenet, were VAT vendors when they submitted their bids.

Outa also stated that the new NSFAS Bank Account charged higher transaction fees than other commercial banks’ student accounts. The monthly bundle fee, for example, was set at R29, whereas other banks charged R10. Similarly, ATM withdrawals cost R12 per R100, while other banks charged R7.50 per R1,000.

According to Outa’s calculations, the NSFAS Bank Account deal could be worth around R1.5 billion over the next five years, with students bearing the full cost through deductions from their allowances.

Concerns are expressed by student organizations.

Concerns about the new payment system have been raised by student organizations. The federal chairperson of the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso), Lenard Malesa, criticized the monthly fees and transaction charges imposed on students, especially given the country’s rising cost of living. Malesa questioned the system’s introduction in the middle of the year, during the exam period, rather than at the start of the year.

Daso expressed its opposition to the payment system and demanded from Minister Nzimande and NSFAS a tangible and secure alternative that would not exploit or confuse students. The organization also promised to work with DA MP Chantel King, a member of the parliamentary higher education oversight committee, to resolve the problem.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Student Representative Council (SRC) issued an email statement acknowledging the uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration surrounding the new direct payment system. The SRC rejected the system and requested that UCT continue to administer student allowances. They chastised Coinvest, the banking service implemented at UCT, for its handling of allowances and called the withdrawal and transfer fees unjustified and excessive. The UCT SRC demanded Minister Nzimande’s resignation, claiming that NSFAS and the Department of Higher Education were unconcerned about students’ best interests.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command also wrote to Minister Nzimande, expressing concerns about the higher education sector, particularly the new banking system. They questioned the high banking fees, calling them illogical and excessive. They emphasized how these fees limited students’ ability to buy basic necessities such as bread, sanitary towels, and toiletries. The EFF Student Command also questioned the use of unlicensed banking establishments. They threatened to take to the streets in protest if their grievances were not addressed.

Wits SRC Calls for Integration and Data Accuracy

The Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of the Witwatersrand stated that NSFAS and Tenet, the banking service provider intended for use at the university, were not prepared to launch the new system. Before allowing allowances to be taken over, the SRC emphasized the need for a 20-month integration period to ensure a smooth transition and effective collaboration between NSFAS and the new banking officials at Wits.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

The SRC’s main concern was not with Tenet, but with the accuracy and dependability of the allowance distribution data that NSFAS would send to Tenet. The SRC encouraged NSFAS to address any issues with registration data collection to ensure accuracy before handing over responsibility for allowance distribution to Tenet.Nsfas Students Rally Against New Banking System

Please be aware that Daily Maverick intern Jim Mohlala, a third-year CPUT journalism student, is supported by NSFAS.

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How Long Does It Take to Claim VAT Back?

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How Long Does It Take to Claim VAT Back?

Claiming a Value Added Tax refund in South Africa can be a complex process with varying timelines depending on your circumstances. VAT is a consumption tax paid on goods and services, and tourists and certain vendors can apply for VAT refunds. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the time frames for claiming VAT refunds, how to check the status of your refund, what happens when you claim VAT back, and the steps to claim VAT back in South Africa.

How Long Does It Take to Claim VAT Back

The time it takes to claim a VAT refund in South Africa can differ based on your eligibility and the refund amount. Here are some general timelines:

Tourists and Foreign Enterprises

Tourists and foreign enterprises can claim VAT refunds on goods they take out of the country when the total value exceeds R250. Exported goods should ideally leave within 90 days from the tax invoice date, barring a few exceptions noted in Part One of the Export Regulations. While refund processing durations can fluctuate, adherence to the correct protocols and thorough documentation significantly streamline the refund process.

Vendors

Vendors can claim back VAT on specific business-related expenses, enhancing their financial flexibility. SARS aims to pay VAT refunds to vendors within 21 business days of receiving the correctly completed VAT return. However, the actual processing time might vary based on factors like the accuracy and completeness of your submission.

Refund Amount

Refunds for different amounts might have different processing times. Generally, VAT refunds for claims less than R3,000.00 are loaded onto the VAT Refund Card within 3-4 weeks of the claimant’s departure date. Larger refunds may take longer, and ensuring all documentation is crucial to avoid delays.

Claim Approval

The endorsement of VAT refund claims significantly influences the processing duration. After SARS approves your claim, anticipate a refund timeline of about 3 months. Their approval process typically entails a thorough review of your records and adherence to tax guidelines.

How Do I Check My South African Tax Refund Status?

Checking the status of your tax refund in South Africa, including VAT refunds, can be done through the SARS eFiling system. Check how:

  1. SARS eFiling
    • Visit the main SARS eFiling online portal.
    • Use your credentials/particulars to sign in to your SARS account.
    • Visit the “Returns” site section.
    • Pick the “Income Tax” page or the “VAT” section, depending on your expected refund.
    • Check the “Refund” page for the refund status display.
    • You’ll check the payment date after the refund processing step.
  2. Contact SARS
    You can contact SARS directly if you can’t access your eFiling account or have questions about your refund. SARS has various contact channels, including phone and email, to assist taxpayers with their queries.

What Happens When You Claim Back VAT?

When you claim back VAT in South Africa, several key steps and processes come into play:

  • Submission

You must submit a correctly completed VAT return to claim a VAT refund. This return should detail your eligible expenses and purchases for which you’re seeking a refund.

  • Review and Approval

SARS reviews the submitted documentation to ensure compliance with tax regulations. This stage could entail confirming the validity and precision of the data submitted.

  • Processing

Once your request is endorsed, the reimbursement is initiated. As previously mentioned, the timeframe for processing may differ based on the sum, your qualifications, and additional considerations.

  • Payment

If your claim is successful, SARS will arrange for a refund payment. The payment method can vary, but refunds are often loaded onto a VAT Refund Card for easy access.

  • Documentation and Compliance

Maintaining proper documentation and ensuring compliance with tax regulations is crucial to facilitate a smooth refund process.

  • Communication

SARS may communicate with you during the process if they require additional information or have questions about your claim.

How Do I Claim South Africa VAT Back?

To claim VAT back in South Africa, you need to follow specific steps:

  1. Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. Tourists, foreign enterprises, and certain vendors can claim VAT refunds.
  2. Documentation: Keep detailed records of your eligible expenses and purchases. This includes tax invoices and receipts.
  3. Submission: Complete the VAT return form accurately. For tourists and foreign enterprises, ensure that your goods are exported within 90 days from the tax invoice date.
  4. Submit the Claim: Submit your VAT refund claim to SARS. This can often be done through the eFiling system.
  5. Wait for Approval: After submission, wait for SARS to review and approve your claim. This can be a time-consuming step, as previously indicated.
  6. Receive Reimbursement: Upon approval, you’ll receive your refund, which can be loaded onto a Value Added Tariff Refund Card or disbursed via alternative methods.
  7. Adherence to Regulations: Ensuring compliance with tax regulations is critical at every stage. Maintaining meticulous records and adhering to the established guidelines is essential.
  8. Seek Assistance: Should you require guidance or have inquiries about your claim, don’t hesitate to dial SARS for support.

In conclusion, the duration for reclaiming VAT in South Africa can vary based on several factors, including your eligibility, the refund amount, and the validation process. To facilitate a seamless refund process to adhere to the correct protocols, maintain accurate documentation, and uphold tax compliance.

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NSFAS Portal: Login|Create Account or Reset Password

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NSFAS Portal: Login

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, or NSFAS, is an allowance for undergrad South African students. The Department of Higher Education and Training funds this bursary scheme. This scheme is given to financially weak students who want higher education but cannot afford it.

NSFAS will be allotting around R47.6 for the academic year 2023. This money will help cover students’ tuition and registration fees, transport and accommodation fees, and personal care costs. Here is a guide on NSFAS allowances.

Those students with South African citizenship can apply, and their total and complete household income is less than R350000 or living with a disability, and their income is less than R600000

Students will have to return the money to NSFAS. NSFAS only lets you borrow the money if you sign on to the money-returning policy. You must start paying them back after employment or starting your own business.

How to Create myNSFAS Student Portal Account?

If you need this allowance, you will have to apply for it. To apply for an NSFAS allowance, you must have your myNSFAS Account.

NSFAS is the Organization while myNSFAS is the student portal provided by that organization.

If you are finding it hard to make your myNSFAS Account, then you are at the right place because I will be sharing the whole process step by step.

  • First, you will have to open NSFAS official website which is www.nsfas.org.za
  • Next, you must click on ‘myNSFAS,’ which will appear on the top right corner of the page. Now select ‘create an account.’
  • Then, it will ask for your personal details. Please fill them out carefully; they must match your identity document (ID).
  • Then, fill in your contact details. Note that you must fill it in correctly because NSFAS will have to contact you through the information you provide.
  • Then, you will see the terms and conditions. Read them, then accept them by ticking the box. Note that if you do not agree to the terms and conditions, NSFAS will not be able to proceed with your selection.
  • Then, you must create a unique password and confirm it. Do not share your password with anyone to avoid scammers reaching your funds.
  • Finally, click on the ‘create’ tab. Your account creation is done. Make sure to remember your details, and if some changes occur in your information, revisit the link and make all the changes accordingly.

How to Log in to myNSFAS Account?

Once you make your NSFAS account, you will have to log in to it. You can see all the information on your Account and track your application through your Account. Here is how you can log in.

  • First of all, visit my.nsfas.org.za.
  • Next, you will see a myNSFAS tab; click on it.
  • Then, enter your username and password in the given boxes.
  • In the end, click on ‘sign in.’

How to Reset myNSFAS Account Password?

Your NSFAS account is of crucial importance while applying for an NSFAS scholarship. You will need your Account at every step. So, you must keep your login credentials very safe, but if you cannot remember your password, here is how you can reset it.

  • First, visit ‘The NSFAS student portal.’
  • Next, you will see ‘forgot your password? Click here’ tab. Click on it to restore your password.
  • Then, you will have to enter your ID.
  • Then, click on ‘I can’t remember my password.’
  • Then, press the ‘submit’ tab.
  • You will get an OTP pin on your mobile number or email address.
  • Finally, enter that pin in the given box and click ‘create password.’ This time think of something that you can remember.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, or NSFAS, has created the NSFAS student portal, making it easy for students to contact them. Students can easily create their accounts and apply for the allowance. While, Celbux system makes it even easier to distribute and manage the bursary funds and enables easy access to students.

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What Is A Vulnerable Child Declaration for NSFAS?

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NSFAS Vulnerable Child Declaration Form, has been introduced to identify eligible students who require additional support due to their vulnerable circumstances

As part of your NSFAS application process, you may be asked to provide a Vulnerable Child or Non-SASSA Declaration Form. Many applicants find these a very intimidating form to create, and the titles can be confusing if you are not used to bureaucratic systems. Luckily, you have us to help! Today we have rounded up everything you need to know about these types of forms and how to ensure they are filled in correctly so your application process is as smooth as possible.

What Is a Vulnerable Child, Or Non-SASSA Declaration Form?

While the title of both forms is rather odd to look at, a Vulnerable Child or Non-SASSA Declaration Form is simply a document used to identify and verify the vulnerable status of a student, or someone who is not receiving any form of social grant through the South African Social Security Agency, better known as SASSA. You will typically be asked to provide a Vulnerable Child or Non-SASSA Declaration Form when you are applying for specific financial aid programs, including NSFAS for tertiary education.

The forms are intended to help interested parties gather information about the applicant’s circumstances. Sadly, the level of financial need in South Africa is so great that potential NSFAS students will often try to hide or obscure the real facts about their parents and other funding they receive in order to access financial assistance. Plus, of course, there are always scammers trying to exploit government programs for their own gain, which takes funding away from the truly needy. These declaration forms help to assess the financial need and vulnerability of the student, and help ensure that they receive appropriate assistance and support as much as possible without abusing the program. They are also used where the applicant provides details that do not match with SASSA’s records.

While providing a Vulnerable Child or Non-SASSA Declaration Form is a common part of applying for such financial assistance, the exact format and details needed can vary depending on the organization which has requested it. So don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on what exactly they expect! Today we are focusing specifically on the NSFAS version of these forms, but the information should help you with other applications too. You can download both forms from the SASSA website.

Who Signs The Vulnerable Child Declaration Form?

The Vulnerable Child Declaration Form will need to be signed by the applying student, alongside any guardian figure or registered social worker they have in their life (in the case of child-led households without a guardian). This form is commonly used by NSFAS where a student claims not to have family details or access to their abridged birth certificate or where they say they are an orphan.

How To Fill In Non SASSA Declaration Form?

You can download the Non SASSA Declaration Form directly from NSFAS here. It is a very intuitive form to fill in, so simply work through each section and provide the details you are asked for.

It is important to complete the declaration form accurately and honestly, providing all the necessary information and supporting documents requested by NSFAS. This will help ensure that your application is processed correctly and that you receive the appropriate financial aid based on your circumstances.

Why Does NSFAS Want a Declaration Form?

NSFAS will request a declaration form when it needs to gather additional information about an applicant’s circumstances and to further verify their eligibility for financial aid. A declaration form helps NSFAS assess the financial need and vulnerability of the applicant accurately by gathering additional information, often from sources outside the family. Here are a few occasions where NSFAS may ask you for a declaration form:

  • A declaration form giving information about any specific vulnerabilities or challenges that the applicant and their household face is very common. This addresses disabilities and health issues, whether the person is an orphan, what family responsibilities they carry, and other difficulties they face in life. 
  • A declaration form may be needed to verify the personal details of the applicant, such as their name, contact information, and identification details. It may also include information about the applicant’s household members, such as their relationship, income, and who depends on whom
  • Declaration forms regarding financial situations are also common, checking that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for financial aid and confirming how financially needy they are. 
  • Last, but not least, NSFAS may use a declaration form to ensure compliance with its regulations and policies, to avoid fraud and assist them in ensuring only the truly needy and those who genuinely qualify for assistance can access the fund.

We hope you now have a much stronger idea of when a declaration form may be requested by NSFAS, how to find the right form, and how to fill it in. Remember that honesty is always the best policy, and that the information you provide will be rigorously assessed by NSFAS, so it is important not to lie or obfuscate your circumstances.

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