Students’ R30bn aid in shambles

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solution to the integration of registration and funding data between Nsfas and universities and colleges, in consultation with these institutions;

• Accurate bursary agreements are generated and signed as a matter of urgency, and thereafter reviewed to ensure that they are compliant with all legal and policy prescripts;

• Students immediately receive confirmation of their funding if data related to their application have been integrated; and

• Such funds are disbursed to students without further delay, subject to control measures to ensure that the correct students are paid.

In a letter dated April 20 2018, Nehawu described its disappointment with the CEO.

The union alleged in the letter that a senior manager position for performance and evaluation was a single post, but two people were employed.

It also stated that the general manager position was never advertised, but a person from the bank was employed.

In a follow-up letter dated May 3, Nehawu further alleged that Nsfas was in financial administration chaos. It also highlighted concerns with the administration of Nsfas by the leadership (the CEO and the board).

Nehawu’s secretary-general, Zola Saphetha, confirmed that the union also sent a letter to Pandor, calling for the removal of both the CEO and the chairperson.

“Since the beginning of the year, following strikes by workers who were discontent with the working conditions of Nsfas, we wrote to the chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana, in about February and tabled a number of issues, but he ignored us,” said Saphetha.

“We could not address issues about the CEO with him directly as he would have been a player and referee to matters implicating him directly.”

The beleaguered Zwane said he was aware of the letter from the union. He, however, denied any wrongdoing, insisting he had a healthy relationship with the board.

“Yes, I’m aware. As you know, the CEO is appointed by the board, and therefore, the matters raised by Nehawu would be deliberated by the board,” he said.

“It is not for me to respond to the media about this matter, but I have responded to Nehawu’s letter.”

Zwane said he did not approve a tender roll-out to VBS and Standard Bank: “The CEO does not approve any tender above R1 million.”

Nsfas spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo confirmed that all appointments made by Zwane were “in accordance with the organisation’s rules and strategy, aimed at building the much-needed capacity and capability to deliver on the new mandate”.

“Normal recruitment and selection processes were used to source candidates for the position. We received applications from several applicants and are happy with the outcome of those processes,” said Mamabolo.

Lunga Ngqengelele, spokesperson for the department of higher education and training, confirmed that Pandor had received the letter from the union.

However, he added: “The minister does not discuss her correspondences with anyone other than people she is dealing with” – referring to the letter to the Nsfas board.

City Press has reliably learnt that the board had called a special meeting to discuss the contents in both Pandor and Nehawu’s letters which demanded the removal of the chairperson and the CEO

This article was first published on news24.com