NSFAS mismanagement

Students set ultimatum over NSFAS mismanagement. Picture: File/Fotor.

STUDENTS set ultimatum over NSFAS mismanagement

Student organisations have vowed to ‘escalate matters’ over NSFAS mismanagement, if outstanding payments fail to materilise tomorrow.

NSFAS mismanagement

Students set ultimatum over NSFAS mismanagement. Picture: File/Fotor.

South African student organisations have set an ultimatum to the Higher Education Minister over NSFAS mismanagement. Tomorrow – Monday 15 January 2024 – is the payment date for the next instalment of National Student Financial Aid Scheme disbursements. If all outstanding payments are not forthcoming, students say they will ‘escalate matters’ over NSFAS mismanagement.

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Last week, the Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) released recordings that implicate NSFAS board chair, Ernest Khosa, and Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, in corruption allegations. Service providers who allegedly paid kickbacks to the chairperson have raked in millions, while students couldn’t afford food, accommodation and were forced to sell personal effects to be able to travel home for the holidays last year.


NSFAS Nzimande
Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande Photo: Dr Blade Nzimande/ Facebook.

As a result, the SA Union of Students (SAUS) is calling on Nzimande and Khosa to leave office. The latter has already taken a leave of absence. And if the thousands of students who didn’t receive their NSFAS payments in December 2023 don’t get them tomorrow, the union says it will ‘escalate matters’, reports Daily Maverick.

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OUTA has been on a mission in the last 12 months to get to the bottom of NSFAS mismanagement. It looked into mandatory requirements for tenders awarded to certain companies that were modified after the fact. Then, in the first week of 2024, OUTA produced the recordings linking the minister and board chair to kickbacks and corruption.


NSFAS mismanagement
Students have pooh-poohed Blade Nzimande’s proposed fee increase. Picture: File/iStock/Fotor.

Minister Nzimande maintains his innocence, while the Democratic Alliance (DA) has laid criminal charges. The EFF says, “(Khosa) is a leech who has prioritised self-enrichment at the expense of poor children. He and his cronies must know they will never again have access to the NSFAS and its procurement system and the sooner he resigns, the better.”

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The SA Students Congress (SASACO) and SAUS reiterate that all outstanding NSFAS payments must be made tomorrow, or they will ‘escalate matters’ over NSFAS mismanagement. Otherwise they will make a ‘revolutionary visit’ to NSFAS offices.

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