The New NSFAS System (sBux)
This new NSFAS system, called sBux, allows students to pay for food, accommodation, books and travel allowances using their cellphones. NSFAS says this system works on all cellphones.
This is an innovative idea from NSFAS capitalising on the fact that most students have access to a cellphone these days.
NSFAS has caused students a lot of disappointment by switching sBux earlier this year; however it is not all bad.
Orapeleng Phale, commented on Facebook
“I’m happy with it because I find online application convenient and reliable, you are sure that your application is received immediately”
He followed the simple process of:
- Visiting the NSFAS website
- Followed the step by step application process online
- Received an email and sms that his application was received
- And that he should submit outstanding documents:
- Bank statement
- Pay slip
- He then scanned these documents and sent them via email to NSFAS
Steven Lombaard, a UNISA student, said
“in January NSFAS still accepted applications to accommodate new students. During the allocations of funds most of those who were first notified was those who only applied in January. In my opinion returning students should have been the main target then first time applicants”
Much of the disappointment seems to stem from NSFAS not communicating with students, UNISA and their respective staff members. Students complain that staff members at UNISA and NSFAS call centre staff have no clue about resolving the new system’s issues.
Another point Steven made relating to the communication problems is that the funds he received from NSFAS for his book allowance does not correspond with the amount he needs for his UNISA textbooks.
NSFAS says “sBux can be used for transport, meals, accommodation and books but UNISA students will only receive book vouchers.” The confusion sets in where UNISA students think that sBux can be used for other things such as paying their UNISA fees or accommodation.
UNISA’s SRC even started a campaign on Avaaz titled:
Hopefully NSFAS will be able to keep students abreast of any further developments and try to make any new implementations as user friendly as possible.
What are your thoughts on the new NSFAS sBux system?
Written by Kurt Wyngaard