Minister demands action amid student financial aid scandal

South African Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has given the board of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) until 30 August to tell him how they plan “to correct all the challenges” around the direct payment system of allowances to beneficiaries, writes Prega Govender for Business Live.

Nzimande’s statement follows the board’s decision to give CEO Andile Nongogo leave of absence after allegations made against him while he was at the helm of the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). The NSFAS board said on Wednesday 16 August that over the past few weeks several allegations had been levelled against Nongogo. “The allegations relate to his work with the SETA and how this may relate to unacceptable conduct in the awarding of bids at NSFAS.”

Nzimande’s spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said in a statement on Wednesday night that the minister had noted the board’s decision to place Nongogo on leave of absence. “Notwithstanding the current challenges, the minister is of the view that the direct payment solution is a necessary measure to reduce instances of unauthorised access to beneficiaries’ allowances, payment of ghost students, inconsistencies and delayed payments of allowances,” Mnisi said.
Full report on the Business Live site