The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Student Command in the North West has called for the resignation of the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande.
This follows the Special Investigating Unit (SIU)’s report that approximately R5.1 billion in National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funds were improperly spent on funding students who did not qualify for financial assistance. This was revealed during a briefing to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
The report, presented before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts, indicates that more than 40 000 students in 76 institutions of higher learning were funded regardless of their home income being more than R350 000 per annum.
The EFF Student Command’s provincial Secretary Senzo Hlazo says, “It is proof to our long-standing argument that there are deeply rooted maladministration and corruption in NSFAS, which prohibits the deserving students from poor backgrounds to access financial assistance from the scheme. This report further proves that we don’t have a competent minister in the Department of Higher Education and Training. We, therefore, call upon the President to release Minister Blade Nzimande from his duties and not keep him because of the unstable relationship between ANC, Cosatu and SACP.”
Meanwhile, the South African Student Congress’s North West Provincial Organiser, Vuyo Mantshule says the report further records allegations of maladministration and corruption.
“We, as the South African Student Congress each and every year, raised our concerns in terms of how the NSFAS is funding students and maladministration and corruption that is happening in offices of NSFAS. We spoke about the is happening in the headquarters of NSFAS. It is the very same people who have approved students who do not qualify to be funded by NSFAS.”
Meanwhile, NSFAS media unit will issue a press release on Friday regarding the allegation. NSFAS Spokesperson Slumezi Skosana speaks to SABC News’ Flo Ledwaba.