Saturday, 3 October 2015

Probe ordered into student aid fund in South Africa

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande

A full-scale forensic investigation will soon be undertaken to probe the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) following allegations of corruption in the administration of funds.
Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced his intention to launch an investigation into the Nsfas last year.
Spokesman Khaye Nkwanyama said the department director-general, Gwebinkundla Qonde, had been hard at work finalising the administrative work with regard to the investigation.
He said the appointment of an independent firm of auditors had already been done and the terms of reference had been finalised. However, he said Nzimande would soon make an announcement about the commencement date of the probe, which is likely to last for six months. Nzimande would also give more details about how the investigation would be conducted.
The investigation would be undertaken in light of recent student protests over lack of financial support from Nsfas, which resulted in them not being able to pay rent and tuition fees.
In 2014, Nsfas provided student loans and bursaries amounting to R8.3 billion and would receive R4.94bn for university study loans, about R2.2bn for technical and vocational training college bursaries and close to R149 million for administration for the 2015/16 financial year.

Students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria on Monday took to the streets yet again after the university had apparently failed to make sure that the students were paid.
They were dispersed by police who fired rubber bullets at the main entrance of the Pretoria West campus.
A vehicle was stoned and its windows smashed and some dustbins burnt during the protest. Last week, students protested over the lack of financial support and submitted a memorandum of grievances to the vice-chancellor Professor Lourens van Staden, who promised to address their issues.
They said they had embarked on another protest because they were unhappy that their issues had not been resolved.
Pretoria News

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