Members of Parliament have lambasted the NSFAS board and its executives for incurring irregular expenditures totalling billions of rands for the past three consecutive years. This year, it incurred irregular expenditure to the tune of R522 million.
Over and above irregularities, the institution has been described as dysfunctional and not fit for purpose. This, at the time when thousands of students need money to register and pay their tuition fees at higher learning institutions.
NSFAS responds to allegations of funding cuts:
NSFAS officials blamed the situation on a plethora of issues, including their ageing IT system and none performance by their staff members.
But lawmakers were fuming.
Close to a million students have applied for NSFAS this year, but chances that they will succeed look slim.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says he hopes Cabinet will approve additional funding for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
On Monday the Minister announced that NSFAS did not have adequate resources to fund 2021 first-year students.
Speaking to SCOPA during the hearing on its annual report, Nzimande said university Vice-Chancellors agreed to admit the students and not give away their places to those who could afford to pay.
“The challenge we have is that we do not have adequate funds for first-year students. Budget cuts did not spur the Department of Higher Education, but also COVID-19,” says Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande.
The situation has become so serious that lawmakers decided to undertake a sight visit to NSFAS offices as a matter of urgency.
MPs lambaste NSFAS for R522 million irregular expenditure: