NSFAS applications. Image: Twitter.com/NSFAS

NSFAS applications. Image: Twitter.com/NSFAS

DA calls for “management overhaul” as NSFAS fails to account for R30bn

NSFAS has failed to table its annual financial report for the Auditor-General.

NSFAS applications. Image: Twitter.com/NSFAS

NSFAS applications. Image: Twitter.com/NSFAS

NSFAS has failed to produce audited annual reports to the Auditor-General, who recently noted that the current speculated figures don’t “paint the full picture” of irregular expenditure, as more state-owned entities are yet to be audited.

NSFAS has failed to account for R30 billion it received

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science & Technology is anticipated to adopt a draft Budget Review and Recommendation report by all entities in the Ministry, including NSFAS, despite the entity failing to table its annual report for the previous financial year.

On Monday, workers at the financial aid scheme embarked on a strike and planned to issue a memorandum to Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande; as they have expressed their discontent about the non-payment of bonuses and allege victimisation by executives, the strike is reported not to disrupt students applying for financial aid for the 2020 academic year.

In early October, three NSFAS employees have been arrested on allegations of fraud at the Wynberg office, related to diverting student allowances to their bank accounts, and NSFAS has confirmed to be working with authorities, who are tasked with further investigation of this fraud issue that continues to plague the entity.

DA calls for the “complete overhaul” of NSFAS and its management

However, it is reported that the financial aid scheme is unable to account for how it utilised the R30 billion it received, in the previous financial year, as it has failed to submit the financial reports on time.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, to call for a “complete overhaul” of NSFAS and its entire management, the party details that this will be done to ensure that the processing of applications and allocation of 2020 allowances, will undergo thorough checks and management will be able to account for. 

“NSFAS has been riddled with financial difficulties of fraud and corruption”

The DA has announced that NSFAS should be directly accountable to Parliament and the Minister of Higher Education to ensure:

  • The management has accountability and transparency in the application process,
  • appropriate allocation of funds to qualifying students and,
  • better management in the disbursement of allowance to existing students.

“For years NSFAS has been riddled with financial difficulties, fraud and corruption due to years of mismanagement of funds by corrupt officials, who awarded dodgy tenders to the defunct VBS Mutual Bank at the expense of student allowances – NSFAS is clearly in a crisis and is consequently unable to fulfill their mandate of providing education opportunities to indigent young people of our society.”