The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will intensify its outreach programmes in an effort to encourage young people in rural and remote communities to apply for funding.
"We cannot ignore the fact that there are disparities in our communities, therefore government needs to take its services to the communities. The power of education can change a series of generations," said NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen.
NSFAS applications are open for Grade 9 to 12 learners and out of school youth who wish to further their studies with the support of the government bursary scheme for the 2020 academic year.
The applications opened on 01 September 2019 and will close on 30 November 2019 at midnight.
Carolissen was speaking during an outreach programme facilitated by the Lynette and Peter Zwane Foundation in Ugu District, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday.
"Annually between September and November, NSFAS agents travel around the country focusing on the rural areas in the local and district municipalities to give information and opportunities to applicants for funding at public TVET colleges and public.
"At each event, representatives from the scheme conduct a briefing on the application process, verify the supporting documents, and help each applicant to access a computer and apply using the self-help online portal," NSFAS said.
Over the next two weeks NSFAS agents will be deployed across all nine provinces with a special focus in thr Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Northern Cape, and Western Cape due to the low number of applications received in these provinces.
To date, NSFAS has received 348 240 applications nationwide, with KwaZulu-Natal (100 130), Gauteng (70 919), and Limpopo (54 601) provinces continuing to lead with the highest number of applications received.
So far only 1001 applications have been received from people living with disability.
"Applicants who do not have access to computer facilities and smart phones, can visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) offices, local libraries, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Thusong Centres, and Department of Basic Education (DBE) District Teacher Development Centres national wide," NSFAS said.
For all outreach locations and dates from the 18th to the 30th of November 2019, applicants can visit the NSFAS Facebook page, Twitter page @MyNSFAS, or Instagram page @MyNSFAS.