NSFAS R20 million

Department of Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Images via Pixabay and Flickr

NSFAS R2m rental scandal ‘another state capture project’

It has come to light that NSFAS is paying almost R2m per month to rent an office block – with many offices not even being used.

NSFAS R20 million

Department of Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande. Images via Pixabay and Flickr

While University of Pretoria students are up in arms about the new R45 000 proposed cap on accommodation by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the scheme has — ironically — come under fire for “wasteful expenditure” based on sky-high office rental fees.

ALSO READ: NSFAS asked to scrap cap on accommodation allowance

Bantu Holomisa drops NSFAS rental bombshell

In a letter sent to Hawks national head Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya and Special Investigating Unit (SIU) boss Advocate Andy Mothibi last week, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader General Bantu Holomisa dropped a NSFAS bombshell.

In the letter — which was shown to the Sunday Independent — Holomisa alleges that “NSFAS recently moved to another building using a turn-key solution, from a building where the rent had been R500 000 per month, to one where the rent now apparently is R1 968 647.05 per month”.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has blown the whistle on the office block rental allegedly paid by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Image: Gallo Images/ Frennie Shivambu

The letter added that the “many offices in the new building remain unused, which again is tantamount to wasteful expenditure” of almost R20 million.

According to the publication, Holomisa also claims that the NSFAS “paid a rental amount of R1 968 647.05 per month for office space they had not used from December 2021 to September 2022.

ALSO READ: CONFIRMED: Here are the NSFAS allowances for 2023

Lease agreement likened to ‘another state capture project’

“If my calculations are correct, this is a whopping wastage of R19 686 470.50,” the letter stated. Holomisa also explained that “the owner of the building is overseas, yet the tender is fronted by a local person in the name of Bheki Dlamini of Dynamic SA”.

Holomisa told the Sunday Independent that the lease agreement was “another state capture project”.

“This is yet another state capture project where people are building empires to sustain themselves when they are no longer in government. Students are unable to study because the money earmarked for them is being looted.”

— UDM leader Bantu Holomisa

In his letter, Holomisa requests that the Hawks and SIU launch an investigation into the allegations.

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NSFAS confirms R2m office rental fee

In a statement responding to questions sent to NSFAS by the Sunday Independent, the scheme said the “board approved the awarding of the Provision of office leased premises for a period of five (5) years to the successful bidder, Dynamic SA, on 1 December 2021, following a competitive tender process.

“A competitive tender process was followed which complied with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), National Treasury regulations and instruction notes and the NSFAS SCM policy.”

In the statement, NSFAS also confirmed its office rental fees of almost R2 million per month, but denied that they paid Dynamic SA a month’s rental from December 2021 to September 2022 before they even moved into their new office.