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External Communication




To:                All Principals


Cc:                Financial Aid Office Heads


From:           Peter Grant, 2019 Program Application Date:                      January 07, 2019


NSFAS would like to inform you of the application window that will be exclusively open to all Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges through an assistive capture mechanism from the 07 January – 18 January 2018. To support colleges during this process, NSFAS has dispatched manual application forms that will be used to capture the details of students as detailed below and uploaded unto the assistive capture system. A user guide was emailed to colleges on Friday 04 January 2019.

Please note! There was an error on the manual form where we included a note on allowances under the heading of the form. We request college officials responsible to kindly scratch this section out. The current form does not include the application for allowances. The college will determine who qualifies for allowances as advised from earlier communication and the Bursary Rules and Guidelines and will notify NSFAS on the allowance information when submitting the registration data.

For the efficient administration of this process the following processes are advised to ensure smooth running of the 2019 application process.



The student will need recently certified copies of the following documents to be submitted with the application:

  • RSA birth certificate (preferably unabridged) or ID
  • ID’s of parents and/or guardian (or death certificate if applicable)
  • Salary advice/letter of employment or pension advice or SASSA letter
  • Completed and signed application form



This is a student who has not applied for NSFAS funding before, through the online process, or NSFAS does not have a record of application for this student.

Step 1: The college official will give the student an application form where all sections of the from should be completed, all required additional documentation attached and the form signed by all relevant parties.

Step 2: The form will be given to the college official who will capture it online using assistive capture and scan the form immediately or at the earliest convenient time.

Step 3: The form will be filed for auditing and metro-file purposes (detailed process outlined in the ppt document)



Students who have applied online in 2018 for the 2019 academic year.

Step 1: NSFAS FAO PORTAL: Students who applied online during the November 2018 for 2019 academic year NSFAS have already been evaluated and the funding status of these students is available on the NSFAS portal. A college can either download a list from the portal or query individual ID numbers.

Step 2: NSFAS ASSITIVE CAPTURE SYSTEM: Colleges can use the search application functionality on the application dashboard (assistive capture screen) to check the application status of a student who claims to have applied at NSFAS already.

Step 3: if the student is found on the search application functionality on the application dashboard, then the student will be given the application form, but should only complete signs section 2 & 4 of the form which will then serve as a signed SOP.

Step 4: The form will be filed for auditing and metro-file purposes (detailed process outlined in the ppt document).



These are students who have an application reference number but when checked on the search application functionality on the application dashboard, the feedback is that no active application exists for the ID number provided. (if this occurs, it will only be in exceptional circumstances)

Step 1: The college official will give the student an application form where all sections of the from should be filled and signed.

Step 2: The form will be given to the college official who will capture it online using assistive capture.


 Please note, should the college official get an “application with same ID exist already” error during capturing of the application form on the online assistive capture, this must be escalated to NSFAS immediately via the and the regional official responsible for that College.



NSFAS has already provided a list of students who were funded in 2018 to the Exams Unit in the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The Exams Unit will continue to provide the exam data on progression of students. Any discrepancies between College and Exams Unit data will be dealt with through exceptions.



The process for capturing applications through assistive capture remains the same as for the previous application windows. Communication was sent to TVET Colleges on Friday, 04 January 2019 requesting institutions to advise NSFAS on individuals that should be given login access to the assistive capture system as these would be the only individuals with access to capture on the system. Colleges are urged to test the login credentials before the opening of applications. Should you experience any issues, please email give details of the issue and your username only. Our IT Helpdesk team will attend to your query.

For queries please feel free to contact Vuyokazi Mafilika at Kind regards




Peter Grant

2019 Program Application


10 Brodie Road, House Vincent

2nd Floor, Wynberg, Cape Town, 7800 Private Bag X1, Plumstead, Cape Town, 7801

T:     08000 67327 | 021 763 3200




2019 Bursary Rules & Guidelines

Matters for Discussion

• Consultative Process

  • Changes to the Rules
  • Role of DPs: Finance
  • Standardised Allowances
  • Lessons Learnt
  • Way Forward

Consultative Process

•            The DHET updates and revises the Bursary Rules and

Guidelines annually

  • In October 2018 the DHET requested colleges, SRCs, and NSFAS to submit their comments and input for the review
  • Comments were received from NSFAS and 7 colleges
  • Comments and input made at various engagements on financial aid were also incorporated in the review process

Changes to the Rules

•            Inclusion of PLP as a Ministerially-funded programme

  • Signing of SoPs no longer required
  • Signing of   the   application   form   will serve      as   an agreement between NSFAS and the student
  • Introduction of  standardised allowances     (cf. par. 40 of the 2019 Bursary Rules and Guidelines)
  • Introduction of the personal care allowance to assist students with their personal necessities
  • Participation of the DPs: Finance in the FAC
  • Under no  circumstances  may  colleges pay service providers directly

Role of DPs: Finance                        

  • Financial Aid Committee must be chaired by the DPs: Finance (necessitated by recent audit findings raised by the AG)
  • DPs: Finance must take full accountability for administration of the bursary scheme to ensure that more effective and efficient bursary administration processes are applied
  • This accountability must cover all aspects with regard to:
    • bursary application and administration
    • financial management including student billing and debt collection
    • NSFAS claims and receipts processing
  • All documentation in this regard must be available for audit purposes in the college

Standardised Allowances

  • Standard rate for transport allowance for students residing less than 40km from the college is R7,000 per annum, e. 0 km and beyond but up to 39.9 km
  • For travel applicants must submit proof of home address (cf.par. 47 of the 2019 Bursary Rules and Guidelines)
  • Standard rate for students residing in college accommodation (inclusive of meals) is R33,000 per annum
  • Private accommodation is standardised into three categories (colleges must determine categorisation on the basis of the ‘going rate’ of the area in which the campus is located)
  • Standard rates   for   private   accommodation (inclusive  of meals):
  • category A (rural): R15,000 per annum

Standardised Allowances…cont.

  • category B (peri-urban): R18,000 per annum
  • category C (urban): R24,000 per annum
  • DHET will provide predetermined categorisation list from 2020
  • Students must reside more than 40km from the college to qualify for accommodation, e. exactly 40 km and beyond
  • For accommodation applicants must submit proof of home address and the rental agreement (cf. par. 47 and 50 of the 2019 Bursary Rules and Guidelines)
  • Standard rate for the personal care allowance is R2,750 per annum for all bursary beneficiaries

Standardised Allowances…cont.

  • For the personal care allowance applicants are not required to submit any supporting documentation (cf. par. 41 of the 2019 Bursary Rules and Guidelines)
  • Students must be awarded two types of allowances (travel and the personal care allowance OR accommodation and the personal care allowance)
  • Standardised rates  are  intended  to  initiate  the process of ensuring uniformity with the university sector

Lessons Learnt

  • In terms of NSFAS trends and analysis for 2018, colleges awarded accommodation and travel to 30% and 50% of bursary beneficiaries respectively
  • For 2019 the bursary scheme is intended to cover 40%, 60% and 100% of bursary beneficiaries for accommodation, travel and the living allowance respectively
  • In awarding  allowances  colleges  must  consider the above national trends as well as the college specific trends for 2018

Way Forward

  • Distribution of   the   template  for   lodging  an application for allowances by 11 January 2019
  • Distribution of amendments to the 2019 Bursary Rules and Guidelines by 22 January 2019 (ambiguities have been identified regarding awarding of standardised allowances)
  • Ongoing monitoring of utilisation of the allocation
    • Submission of   categorisation   lists   for campuses by 31 January 2019
  • Adherence to the proposed percentage breakdown for allowances
  • Overall compliance with the Rules such as the role of DPs: Finance, bi-annual reports on verification of residential addresses of beneficiaries of allowances and compliance with the attendance policy