Our sister site – https://www.careersportal.co.za is reporting that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andile Nongogo has been dismissed.
Skills-universe members will be aware that there have been multiple reports of student complaints, including student demonstrations, highlighting that under the new system they are being charged for accessing their NSFAS funding. This situation arose following the NSFAS appointment of various financial providers to facilitate the management of the funds to students. Subsequently, it emerged that there may have been a relationship between the NSFAS CEO and the appointed providers.
NSFAS Board Chairperson Ernest Khosa has indicated that the dismissal decision was taken at the Monday Board meeting, citing policy violation, constituting a breach of trust. The decision was confirmed by NSFAS at the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. The Parliamentary Committee responsible for monitoring public spending following the student complaints had called NSFAS to account for the new system.
NSFAS Introduced the direct allowance payment system for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in 2022, extended to universities in 2023. An investigation conducted by Werksmans firm of attorneys examined Bid Number SCMN022/2021, which led to the appointment of the financial service providers. Were the financial service providers registered financial entities, and had there been any previous tender or business relationships between the providers and CEO Nongogo?
The investigation found possible relationships between key individuals involved, including CEO Nongogo and the financial services companies. Additionally, there had been active involvement of CEO Nongogo in the presentation to the Bid Evaluation Committee, raising potential conflict of interest in the appointment decisions.
CEO Nongogo was placed on special leave in August 2023, while the investigation took place, and has now been dismissed. Corruption allegations linked to a contract valued at R47 billion will now be pursued.
Skills-universe members who have been in the skills domain for a while will recall that Andile Nongogo was previously the CEO at Service Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA), a point raised by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).