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Requesting and finding library material: Fines & payments

This guide will cover library services to students who cannot visit a Unisa library

Tips for avoiding Library fines

Material should be returned on or before the due date. Failure to do so may result in a block on registration, exam results and Library privileges until the material has been received, or until the replacement cost of each item (and administrative costs) has been paid in full.

  • Monitor your Library account regularly
    • Go to Encore -  click the Login link in the upper right corner of the screen
    • Enter your student number and myUnisa password
    • This service is also available via your mobile device
  • Return the book before or on the due date. Pay careful attention to the various due dates of the items
  • Respond immediately to letters from the Library asking you to return an item before the due date so that another client may use it, or, if it is a loose-leaf publication, so that it may be updated. Kindly return such items promptly as a courtesy to fellow Library users and keep in mind that non-return of recalled items will also incur a fine
  • Regularly check your myLife email inbox, including your junk email inbox. Set the Library's automated sending address as a “safe sender” in order to receive reminder emails directly to your myLife inbox, that is: milcirc@millennium.unisa.ac.za

Please note : send any enquiries regarding fines, accounts rendered etc. to library-fines@unisa.ac.za

Fine amounts

Note: Library fines are subject to change.

The amounts for Library fines are as follows:

Overdue items: R5.00 per day per item

Lost items: The Library prefers the student to provide a replacement copy in good condition, or, to pay the replacement cost of R1066.00  depending on the actual cost of the item. If the item costs more than R1066.00, then the student is liable for the exact amount of the replacement cost and the cost of delivering the item to the Library if the student cannot come in person.

Damaged items: If the item is repairable, then binding costs will be levied. If the item is not repairable, the Library prefers the student to provide a replacement copy in good condition, or, to pay the replacement cost of R1066.00  depending on the actual cost of the item. If the item costs more than R1066.00, then the student is liable for the exact amount of the replacement cost and the cost of delivering the item to the Library if the student cannot come in person.

Step-by-step procedure that the Library follows when a borrowed item is overdue

Important note

All Unisa Library correspondence will be addressed to your myLife email address and/or to your postal address.

Remain in communication with the Library on a regular basis via the library-enquiries@unisa.ac.za mailbox, e.g. let the Library know that you have posted your borrowed items back on or before the due date and feel free to attach proof of postage to your email message.

Monitor your Library account, myLife mailbox and post box on a regular basis.

Seven days before a borrowed item becomes overdue, the Unisa Library sends a courtesy reminder to the student's myLife mailbox.

Once an item is overdue the Unisa Library will take the following steps:

  • seven days after the due date, the first reminder is sent to your myLife email address and/ or postal address
  • seven days after the first reminder, a second reminder is sent to your myLife email address and/ or postal address
  • 28 days after the due date, an account is sent to your myLife email address and/ or postal address
  • if the item is not returned, Library Finance compiles a list of accounts outstanding for longer than 30 days and less than 60 days. A 'red letter' is sent by the Recovery Officer to the listed student's myLife email address and/ or postal address
  • if the item is not returned after 60 days, the matter is handed over to Library Finance

Payments to the Unisa Library

If you owe money to the Library (e.g. for late returns or for a damaged or lost book), payment can be made in the following ways:

  • a postal order made out to the University of South Africa
  • by credit card or debit card (if you pay in person at Unisa in Pretoria, or Florida or at one of the Branch Libraries)
  • electronic transfer to Unisa's Standard Bank account (Unisa is a pre-approved beneficiary)
  • deposit made into Unisa's Standard Bank account (this option is available only to students based in South Africa)

Note that bank deposits can be made only:

  •  for outstanding fines or lost/damaged items
  •  if you have already received an account and have a student number

If you choose to deposit the sum you owe at your nearest branch of Standard Bank, complete the deposit slip as follows:

  • Beneficiary: Unisa Student Deposits
  • Account number: 096R
  • Dep ref: The first eight blocks are for the student number. If the student number consists of 7 digits, then a 0 (zero) must be filled in for the first digit of the student number. Leave one block open and then fill in the following:
  • Reference number: 5400374225 (your student number + open block + reference number).
  • Fax proof of payment to 086 659 8821.

If you choose to pay the sum you owe by electronic trasfer over the Internet, the following bank details apply:

  • Bank: Standard Bank
  • Beneficiary: Unisa Library
  • Branch code: 010645
  • Account number: 011554622
  • Reference number: your student number + open block + 5400374225
  • Fax proof of payment to 086 659 8821.

 International students must use the following account details:

  • Bank: Standard Bank
  • Beneficiary: Unisa Student Deposits
  • Branch code: 010645
  • SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ
  • Account number: 011554622
  • Dep ref. The first eight blocks are for the student number. If the student number consists of 7 digits, a 0 (zero) must be filled in for the first digit of the student number. Leave one block open and then fill in the following:
  • Reference number: 5400374225 (student number + open block + reference number)
  • Fax proof of payment to 086 659 8821.

Note: SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

What is meant by a 'block'?

A block occurs when a student or staff member has an outstanding amount owed to the University or to the Library. 

The effect of the block is temporarily to suspend the Library member's requesting and borrowing privileges and access to electronic resources. Examination results, in the case of a student with an outstanding amount owed to the University or to the Library, may be withheld until the account is settled.

Shortly after the account is settled, the block is lifted. It is wise to give the administrative aspects of lifting the block a working day or two to take effect.