Top SARS official appointed as new NSFAS administrator

NSFAS has faced numerous scandals and mismanagement issues over the last few years. Will the new man in charge finally be able to get it right?



The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is, at its core, a huge positive for young South Africans who are unable to afford higher education. Unfortunately, due to numerous issues, the system has been left struggling to pay out to students on time. With some even calling the system close to collapse, there is now a new man set to steer the ship.

NSFAS: A squeaky-clean operating machine?

Dr Randall Carollissen has been appointed as administrator for NSFAS after Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor made the announcement on Friday morning. Carollissen has been brought in after former board chairman Sizwe Nxasana resigned.

With former President Jacob Zuma dropping his bombshell “free education” announcement in 2017, NSFAS has been left scrambling as it attempts to roll out the free program in a relatively smooth manner.

It certainly hasn’t been smooth, though. Numerous students at various institutions across the country have been left with no money for food as a result of delayed allowance payments. Other students were approved by NSFAS but their institution has not received the money for their fees.

Read: Zuma’s ‘free education’ announcement has crippled NSFAS

Carolissen will be in office for one year and his appointment will be effective as soon as the notice is published in the government gazette. He has been working as the Group Executive of Revenue Planning, Analysis and Reporting at SARS.

In her statement, Pandor highlighted Dr Carollissen’s vast experience in leadership and management as well as his high level of technical skills in understanding SA’s higher education landscape.

“The immediate focus for the Administrator will be to ensure the effective closeout of the 2017 and 2018 student funding decisions and disbursements‚ as well as to urgently finalise plans for the 2019 funding cycle. Over the next few months the Administrator will work with universities and TVET colleges to make sure that student funding for the 2019 academic year works smoothly,” the department of higher education said.

Carollissen’s first task will be preparing for the opening of 2019 applications which begin next month.