DA wants NSFAS overhaul after failure to produce audited annual reports
The DA calls for minister Blade Nzimande to completely overhaul the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and its management.
This comes as the parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education, science and technology is expected to adopt a draft budget review and recommendation report by all entities in the ministry, including NSFAS, despite failing to table its annual report for the 2018/19 financial year.
DA’s MP Baxolile Nodada said NSFAS failed to produce audited annual reports to the auditor general or parliament by the required legal deadline.
“NSFAS could not account for how it utilised the R30bn it received in the previous financial year due to its failure to submit the financial reports on time. We want to write to the minister so as to ensure that going forward, especially now leading up to the processing of applications and allocation of 2020 allowances, rigorous checks and balances are followed in the management and disbursement funds by the student funding scheme,” Nodada said.
He said 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.
“Parliament must not gloss over the fact that NSFAS is really failing the young people of our country. The higher education and training’s report indicates that there are 600,000 qualifying students that did not receive funds from universities, postgraduates and largely TVET college students, because of NSFAS’s inability to timeously process payments and approve applications.
That is 600,000 young people whose future is held up by gross corruption, excessive wastage, mismanagement of funds and fraud which has diverted funds away from education, leaving these qualifying students without access to education. Some underprivileged students at tertiary institutions are suffering, often go hungry, without study material and are evicted from their accommodations because of NSFAS fails to pay their allowances on time,” Nodada said.