Student funding body gave billions to ineligible students

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) paid over ZAR5 billion (US$277 million) to unqualifying students, writes Babalo Ndenze for EWN.

The SIU said some 40,000 students were incorrectly funded by the NSFAS, adding that it had only managed to recover ZAR38 million from institutions. The SIU and NSFAS briefed parliament’s finance watchdog SCOPA (the Standing Committee on Public Accounts) about its investigations.

Students whose household income is above ZAR350,000, said the SIU, do not qualify based on funding rules. But students did not submit their parents’ details when they applied, with some using their grandparents’ to apply. “We are looking at 76 institutions and the number of students is 40,044. When you look at the amount involved it’s ZAR5.1 billion of the amount that has been paid to unqualifying students,” said SIU investigator Leonard Lekgetho.
Full report on the EWN site