As a bursary scheme with billions of rands in annual funding capacity, Nsfas has, on several occasions been plagued by incidents of fraud. This has so far resulted in an ongoing investigation tracing the movement of money connected to the bursary scheme.
The National Student Financial Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) recently celebrated 30 years as an entity that ensures that underprivileged and deserving students have access to tertiary education.
However, throughout its growth, the bursary scheme has handled and processed large funds, which makes it susceptible to fraud. In August earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised a corruption and maladministration investigation into NSFAS by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).
To date, the SIU has managed to recover R33 million in NSFAS funds from North College and has stated that there are likely to be more recoveries made. While discussing details of the SIU probe, NSFAS Board Chairman, Ernest Khosa stated that they are in support of the ongoing investigation. They came there at our insistence. We are the complainants.
In addition to this, in 2021 the Auditor General was reported to have found R77.5 billion in irregular expenditure, to which Khoza responded that the finding was made from a period before 2020
“I think that comes from years before that, I think 2020 to be exact. We’re working very closely with the AG and one of the issues that we’re dealing with is a reconciliation of funds that were sent to universities over a long period, from 2016, which funds were not reconciled up to today” Khoza stated
Despite the bursary scheme’s current challenges, Khoza has said that he is satisfied with the current state of the board along with its recent key appointments, which include CEO, Andile Gongogo, a Corporate Secretariat and a well-functioning Auditing Department.