National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Annual Report

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


18 October 2006

Mr BJ Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga)

Documents handed out
National Student Financial Aid Scheme presentation
2006 Annual Report National Student Financial Aid Scheme (available at

National Student Financial Aid Scheme website:

The Committee was briefed by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme on their Annual Report for 2006.
[PMG was not able to attend the full meeting due to the venue being changed. Hence the presentation and the questions asked by the committee members were not recorded and only part of the NSFAS CEO's response was captured. Attempts are being made to provide these at a later stage.]

Mr Allan Taylor Chief Executive Officer, National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) took members through their Annual Report for 2006.

NSFAS was established in 1999 as a statutory body, under the Ministry of Education, to provide for the granting of loans and bursaries to eligible students at public higher education institutions and for the administration of these loans and bursaries, and to provide for the recovery of loans. The main focus of NSFAS as contained in the Preamble to the NSFAS Act is to redress past discriminations and ensure representivity and equal access, to respond to human resource development needs of the nation and to have a national student financial aid scheme that is affordable and sustainable. Mr Taylor noted the activities and results for 2005/06. Highlights were: during 2005/2006 the one-millionth loan was issued, the one-billionth Rand was recovered and the number of students assisted per annum exceeded 100 000 for the first time.

Areas of future focus for NSFAS is to increase the electronic interface with institutions including the use of an electronic Loan Agreement Form; improved communication with institutions, particularly with Vice Chancellors's regarding the audit findings, reach out to South African private sector and other funders to raise sufficient funding and comply with the new National Credit Act.

Mr Allan Taylor told the committee that they allow students up to five years to complete a degree. NSFAS has to take into account that some of the students are from rural areas. This meant a major adjustment for the student when living away from home. NSFAS is considering writing off part of the loan should a student complete their degree in the stipulated time frame. Interest on the loan kicks in when the loan is granted. The current interest rate is 6%, which is currently 1% above inflation. Even though there may be less funds, available a student will not be denied a loan. Students will find a way to cope.

The Chairperson commented that sometimes one finds a student that has a bursary as well as a NSFAS loan.

In his response to questions, Mr Taylor replied that the students would prefer it if they received the money allocated for meals rather than it be given to the institution at which they are studying. However NSFAS prefers to pay the money to the institution so that it knows the money is not being used for something else. Most students do not know about NSFAS because they are not told about at school. He had appeared on Take 5 and Morning Live to promote NSFAS.

The Chairperson commented that this would not be the last time NSFAS is called before the Committee, as they would like this to happen at least once a year. NSFAS had done a lot to help students complete their degree.

The meeting was adjourned.


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