Administrator to take the reins

LAST week’s resignation of board chairman of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), former CEO of First Rand Limited Sizwe Nxasana, further illustrated the dire situation the scheme currently faces.

Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor called a meeting where she spoke about her concerns regarding issues faced by the NSFAS, saying that an administrator will be appointed to take over administration and management of the scheme.

Speaking on Ukhozi FM, department spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said the current board will be dissolved once the minister has hired an administrator.

He said all this is going to be done because there are still students who haven’t received their money since 2017.

“The minister has serious concerns about the delay in payments so we are now in the process of appointing an administrator.

“We are not sure when the appointment will be made, but once the administrator is in place, the board will be dissolved. The administrator will take over the management, administration and the running of NSFAS,” said Ngqengelele.

He went on to say that the board will be totally dissolved, not because they failed to do their job but due to the pressure that they were faced with.

A student at the University of South Africa questioned where this sudden change of heart was coming from, saying “All they do is talk with no action because we have protested numerous times for the board to be dissolved as it wasn’t doing anything.

“Now they want to hire an administrator whom we don’t know — what change it is going to bring us,” he asked.

The student, who asked to remain anonymous, said that they didn’t even determine when the administrator will be hired which shows that they don’t yet have a solid plan in place.

“There are still students who haven’t received their funds from 2017, and 2018 is coming to end in few months, but they haven’t established when the administrator will be hired,” he said.

To conclude he said it doesn’t matter that many students have received their funds this year because, to them, if even one student hasn’t received their funds then it is a problem.