Clarifying TENET and Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd

TENET wishes to record that it is not related to "Tenet Technology" and is not involved in the provision of the NSFAS bank account. We cannot provide support for Tenet Technology's apps.
Clarifying TENET and Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd

In 2023, we learnt that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme contracted with a company called "Tenet Technology" to provide a NSFAS bank card. Despite the apparent similarities in name and logo, we have nothing to do with Tenet Technology or the provision of payment cards to NSFAS.

Given our long-standing association with the higher education sector and NSFAS, the choice of name is unfortunate. It has caused significant confusion among students, universities, and others. Whilst TENET provides connectivity solutions to NSFAS through the SANReN network, we did not respond to tender SCMN022/2021 (Provision of direct payments of allowances to NSFAS students). Nor are we associated with any of the successful bidders in that tender: coinvest, eZaga, Norraco, or Tenet Technology.

The word "TENET" is a registered trademark and a recognised short name for the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa NPC. We have styled ourselves TENET since our founding in August 2000. For these reasons, we took the actions detailed below to protect our rights.


Updated: 2023/03/08
TENET has instructed its intellectual property attorneys to commence proceedings against Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd in the High Court.

Updated: 2023/04/05
We have seen a sharp uptick in the number of support requests related to Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltds "Bhatala" and/or "Ukheshe" products. TENET cannot assist with Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd’s products and we wish to distance ourselves from their services. Students having problems with the NSFAS bank card are strongly encouraged to ensure they're contacting the right entity. NSFAS's contact centre may be able to supply the correct details.

Updated: 2023/06/26
TENET has filed notice of motion in the Western Cape High Court against Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd and its related service providers for the unauthorised use of our name and trademarks (case no 10278/2023). We look forward to a speedy and amicable resolution.

Updated: 2023/07/06
Unfortunately, it seems that NSFAS's walk-in centre in Cape Town is as confused about its own suppliers as students. They are directing students to our Wynberg offices for assistance. While we have a lot of sympathy for those students whose time, effort and money has been wasted getting to our offices, we still cannot assist them.

We've also seen a massive increase in the number of calls we receive from students and have had to implement measures on our phone and email systems to reduce the impact these have on our staff and our regular business (our call volumes are up ~ 400% in the last two weeks). We apologise to our legitimate clients for the inconvenience this may cause.

Updated: 2023/07/14
In light of the recent escalation in students being directed to our offices, growing discontent among students at universities around the country, and a direct threat of violence against our own staff, TENET has approached the court with an interlocutory application to hear this matter on an urgent basis.

Updated: 2023/07/19
We have learnt that Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd and one of the other respondents, an IT company named Coralite (Pty) Ltd which owns the domain hosting Tenet Technology's website, gave notice of their intention to oppose our application. We are still awaiting their answering affidavits.

Updated: 2023/07/25
This morning, we filed our responding affidavit with the high court with a view to having the matter heard later this week.

Updated: 2023/07/28
On Friday, 28 July, we reached an interim out-of-court agreement with Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd and Coralite (Pty) Ltd, with the main application now deferred on a semi-urgent basis until February 2024—details to follow.

Updated: 2023/08/07
A copy of the Court's interim order is now available. In summary, the order requires Tenet Technology to cease using "Tenet" without fully qualifying it as "Tenet Technology"; to stop using the term "NSFAS" together with "Tenet" except when it is clear they're independent entities; to update their website, social media presence and apps to reflect this; and to publish a clarifying statement on their web page. While this does nothing to address the underlying trademark dispute, it (hopefully) addresses the exigent factors that resulted in an urgent application.

Updated: 2023/10/26
We note with interest NSFAS's recent announcement that they will cancel the contract with Tenet Technology. This has once again increased the number of calls and emails we're fielding from students trying to reach Tenet Technology, many of whom are concerned about how their future grants might be paid. While we're deeply sympathetic to their plight this is not something we can answer  clarity will need to come from NSFAS themselves.

While Tenet Technology have still not fully complied with the terms of the interim order, we nonetheless continue to pursue options for settlement with them ahead of the February return date.

Updated: 2024/02/07
In January, we reached a final settlement with Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd, Ukeshe Technologies (Pty) Ltd, and Coralite (Pty) Ltd. This was made an order of the court on 2 February 2024, closing case 10278/2023. In terms of this agreement, Tenet Technology will phase out the use of the unqualified term "Tenet" in the post-school education and training space by 7 August 2024. They will instead trade as TENETECH (all one word) or use their fully qualified name. In the interests of transparency, a copy of the full settlement is available.

While this may reduce the confusion students are experiencing in the medium term, we are still receiving high volumes of misdirected emails and calls. To this end, we've written to the registrars of the six universities and the TVET colleges that make use of Tenet Technology (Pty) Ltd and asked them to draw this to the attention of their student funding offices and NSFAS beneficiaries. We will also likely maintain the interim measures, such as the phone IVR, for some time to come.

Updated: 2024/03/25
Over the last three weeks, we've seen a substantial increase in the number of Tenet Technology-related calls and emails we receive. The chart below shows a conservative subset of these and still shows over 800 phone calls and 450 emails over the previous week alone. Many of these calls are received outside standard office hours.


This high volume of calls significantly burdens our support structures, particularly our after-hours standby function. We're currently exploring several avenues to reduce this load and trying to identify what's causing students to reach out to us rather than Tenet Technology. This includes actively making it more difficult to find our contact details and increasing the amount of automation we use, neither of which are things we'd wish to do because it's bad for our legitimate clients. However, the current workload is simply not sustainable for us in the long term.