Ricochet News

NSFAS cuts means test for social grant beneficiaries

Dec 9, 2016
NSFAS cuts means test for social grant beneficiaries

Matriculants, who are currently receiving a social grant and are accepted at higher learning institutions, will no longer go through a means test to qualify for financial aid.

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Project Manager, Xolani Gobela, made the announcement on Thursday at the Social Development National Youth Camp, which is currently underway in Kimberley.

Gobela said children living in child- and youth-headed households will also be exempted from the means test.

"This decision comes after extensive work between NSFAS and government departments to make sure that there is a smooth process for social grant beneficiaries," said Gobela.

The decision supports the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 of creating an inclusive social protection system that addresses all areas of vulnerability and is responsive to the needs, realities, conditions and livelihoods of those who are most at risk.

This year, 188 687 learners who sat for their matric examinations receive a social grant. Of this number, 173 085 receive the Child Support Grant, while 14 926 receive the Foster Child Grant and 676 are on the Disability Grant.

The Social Development Department estimated that about 56 958 social grant recipients are attending Quintile 4 and 5 schools.

NSFAS was initiated by government to offer tertiary education financial assistance to South African students whose parents or guardians cannot afford tertiary education.

Although application for financial assistance with NSFAS closed at the end of November, learners at the youth camp had an opportunity to apply so that their applications can be processed.

Gobela said learners who qualify for assistance will be notified of the outcome of their applications in January next year.

The National Youth Camp is taking place under the theme, ‘#40YearsOn – Youth Still Moving South Africa forward’.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini will officially close the camp on 12 December. – SAnews.gov.za