The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is due to begin disbursing outstanding funds to tens of thousands of students on Thursday, says higher education & training minister Naledi Pandor. Fielding questions from MPs on Wednesday, Pandor assured legislators that the NSFAS was moving swiftly to ensure eligible students received the money they were due. The NSFAS had for years battled to manage applications for funding while collecting on outstanding student loans, and then buckled under the extra demands created by former president Jacob Zuma’s surprise announcement in 2017 that students from poor and working-class families would be entitled to free higher education from 2018. Thousands of students have faced delayed payments, prompting protests at tertiary institutions earlier this year. Pandor placed the scheme under administration earlier in August and appointed Randall Carolissen as administrator. Statistics provided by Carolissen indicated about 63,000 students, the maj...

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