NSFAS administrator to be appointed

An administrator to oversee the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), is to be appointed imminently, the Department of Higher Education and Training said on Saturday.

"The board agreed," ministerial spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said about the administrator appointment.

This follows the resignation on Thursday of chairperson Sizwe Nxasana.

READ: NSFAS chair Sizwe Nxasana resigns after ‘extreme strain’ on the payments system

Ngqengelele told News24 a special board meeting was subsequently convened by Minister Naledi Pandor on Friday.

NSFAS was put under the board’s administration and a specific administrator would be appointed "as soon as possible".

In the interim, NSFAS is keeping applications for funding for 2019 on hold, as it is still trying to sort out money which needs to be given for 2017 and 2018.

He said 2019 students should not be despondent.

"We will open for them as soon as possible…All that is being done now is so that for 2019 we have a [viable] process [going ahead]."

At the time of his resignation, Nxasana, a former CEO of FirstRand was quoted as saying: "It is time to move on and make way for new leadership and to see how government will take this forward."

Previously, Nxasana described the "extreme strain" on the NSFAS payments system after then-president Jacob Zuma’s announcement of the extension of free higher education in December.