National Research Foundation reporting for the 2019 financial year

Posted on October 24, 2019

Dear Colleague

The National Research Foundation (NRF) bases the future allocation of funding on the results of audited financial reports of the current period. In order to avoid forfeiture of future grants, it is vital that the University submits these reports on or before the deadlines set by the NRF.

In order for the University to meet the reporting deadline for the 2019 financial year, please take note of the following reporting guidelines and milestones:

Financial reporting

Only actual and valid expenditure that have been paid in 2019 can be claimed and reported. Commitments and encumbrances (outstanding orders) may not be included in the financial report. Including amounts not yet paid will result in forfeiture of the funding. Should grant-holders have outstanding orders or claims, carry-forwards may be applied for (refer to section 1.4 below).

Purchase Orders

All requisitions/purchase orders must be placed by no later than 1 November 2019. No requisitions for NRF cost centres will be allowed after this date.

Invoice Payments

All 2019 invoices must be linked to 2019 purchase orders. Grant-holders are requested to submit all documents which relate to official orders and purchases to the Accounts Payable Division, Admin Building, Room 3-51 or emailed to [email protected] by 2 December 2019. Invoices with invoice dates between 2 December and 31 December 2019, must be submitted on or before 10 January 2020.

It is the responsibility of the grant-holder to ensure that all 2019 invoices are submitted and all vouchers are approved by 23 January 2020.


Advance settlement reports relating to NRF cost centres must be submitted on or before 6 December 2019. Please ensure that all supporting documents are attached to the report and original documents are sent to your relevant faculty accountant by that date. These reports must be finalised in terms of the relevant policy (A06/13).

Unspent funds (Carry Forward – (CF))

Per the NRF financial reporting guidelines, the NRF does not allow automatic transfer of unspent grant balances to the following year. The online request of unspent balances (Carry-Forward (CF)) for 2020, must be supported by documentation in respect of outstanding commitments (e.g. purchase orders). At the end of a multi-year grant, or final year of funding of a grant, only committed and unpaid expenses will be considered for CF.

It is the responsibility of the grant-holder to submit a motivation together with the Annual Progress report to the NRF and obtain the above-mentioned written approval.  Incentive Funding is excluded.

Please be advised that any outstanding orders for which payment has not been processed by 10 January 2020 will be funded from alternative sources of funding of the grant-holder.

Annual Progress Report (APR)

The APR for the 2019 financial year must be submitted on-line on the NRF system, which will open mid-November and must be completed by no later than 12 February 2020. Should the NRF not receive these reports in a timely manner the following the University’s NRF funding will be negatively impacted in the 2020 financial year.  

Please note that should you have multiple grants, an APR for each of your awards must be submitted. Furthermore, should the grant-holder not fulfill this requirement, i.e. submit only 1 APR for grant holders with multiple grants, this will affect the release of your 2020 awards of all your grants and consequentially all your projects will be placed on hold.

External Audit

Per the NRF financial reporting guidelines, an external audit of all NRF awards is mandatory. The external audit commences on 12 February 2020, which will indicate that the grants and scholarships were used in accordance with the conditions of all grants and the financial policy of the University.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation in making the 2019 NRF submissions a success.

Mr MN Moolla
Director: Finance

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