Is NSFAS Still Terminating Direct Payment Service Providers?

Is NSFAS Still Terminating Direct Payment Service Providers?

Is NSFAS Still Terminating Direct Payment Service Providers? Earlier this year, the NSFAS Board announced its decision to terminate contracts with service providers facilitating the direct payment of student allowances. With several months passed since the announcement, the question arises: Does NSFAS still plan on executing these terminations?

NSFAS Funding Challenges in 2023

In 2023, NSFAS proudly declared its commitment to funding over one million students in South African tertiary institutions. However, challenges during the academic year led to concerns about the stability of the bursary scheme.

Board Response to Challenges

NSFAS Board Chairperson Ernest Khosa addressed challenges faced in 2023, emphasizing that they represent consequence management rather than instability. The board’s firm stance on managing consequences is highlighted to ensure future stability.

Direct Allowance Payments and Challenges

NSFAS implemented a direct payment system for student allowances, beginning with TVET colleges in 2022 and expanding to universities in 2023. Challenges arose, including potential conflicts of interest, lack of feasibility studies, and irregularities in the appointment of service providers.

Termination of CEO Tenure

Following an investigation, the board decided to terminate the tenure of NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo due to his involvement in the direct payment issues.

Ongoing Legal Battles and Communication

Despite the termination decision, Nongogo has taken the matter to court, and the board is awaiting a response. Additionally, NSFAS is actively working to terminate contracts with direct payment service providers, engaging with stakeholders to ensure responsible and fair terminations.

Engagement with Higher Education Sector

The board is in communication with stakeholders in the higher education sector, including meetings with USAf, to discuss the termination process and potential challenges.

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Anticipation of Challenges

NSFAS acknowledges the likelihood of challenges from service providers and is taking mitigating steps to address resistance.

Employee Accountability

The board is also taking action against NSFAS employees involved in the procurement process, handling these matters responsibly to ensure organizational functionality.

NSFAS 2023 Challenges

In response to the direct allowance payment system, students protested against its implementation, citing issues such as exorbitant bank fees, accommodation caps, the 60-credit policy, and delayed appeal decisions.

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