In January 2014, NSFAS introduced a new system called sBux to pay eligible students their allowances in the following categories:

Food, Books, Private accommodation and Travel
Click here to download the sBux Guide
How does sBux work?
  • If you are eligible for allowances, NSFAS will pay your allowances in the form of vouchers, which are sent to your cell phone.
  • The vouchers have a unique number and can only be used once.
  • You are able to spend these sBux vouchers at registered sBux merchants.
  • If you receive travel allowances, you are able to redeem cash vouchers at Shoprite, Checkers, Boxer, U-Save and select Spar stores.
  • You may not redeem food, books or private accommodation vouchers into cash.
What you will need to receive your NSFAS allowances via sBux?
• Your own cell phone and valid SIM card
• To have signed your NSFAS Loan Agreement Form/Statement of Particulars
• Ensure that your landlord is registered on sBux, if staying in private accommodation. Please download the merchant application pack.
How to get started (1st time users)?
• Sign your LAF/ SOP
• Receive an SMS welcoming you to sBux
• Verify your account by dialing *134*176# and reply with your ID number
• Receive a password that you will use when transacting
• Your vouchers will be made available for spending
How will NSFAS support you?
Download a guide on how to sign your loan or bursary agreement form
Download your sBux Guide, which explains how to use sBux
• For all queries, please contact the NSFAS Contact Centre on 0860 067 327
• You can also send queries or feedback to
• For forgotten passwords or change number requests, the Contact Centre will assist you
How to become a sBux Merchant?
Read the NSFAS Merchant guide as well as the sBux Terms and Conditions.
Complete the sBux Merchant Application Registration form.
Find out how to transact by reading the USSD Merchant steps.
Understand the NSFAS and Merchant process by clicking on the Merchant process document.

Will all students receive their allowances through sBux? Please note that only students studying at the following Universities and TVET Colleges, which are participating in the New Student-Centered Model, may receive their allowances through sBux:

University of South Africa (UNISA)
Durban University of Technology
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
University of Venda
Sol Plaatje University

Buffalo City TVET College
Coastal KZN TVET College
Ekurhuleni East TVET College
Ekurhuleni West TVET College
Esayidi TVET College

King Hintsa TVET College
Motheo TVET College
Orbit TVET College
Port Elizabeth TVET College
Umfolozi TVET College
Vhembe TVET College

sBux numbers to date:
Since 2014, over 3 million transactions have been processed on the sBux system and nearly R 500 million has been disbursed to students to date.
There are over 80,000 student accounts on sBux.

There are over 2,700 merchants registered on sBux with the majority being food merchants.