Siphosethu Ngcobo MP
IFP Spokesperson on Higher Education, Science and Technology


The IFP has over the past few months closely monitored the state of affairs at the ailing National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

From the recent strikes and unhappiness of personnel, to its inability to pay grant recipients the correct amounts of money for their tuition to the scathing report on its finances by the Auditor General.

Today, in answering questions on the myriad of issues plaguing NSFAS, the current Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen admitted and agreed with the IFP that a total overhaul is required in order to turn the tide on corruption, maladministration and improve systems and controls at NSFAS.

This very frank and honest confession in admitting that all is not well at the NSFAS by Dr Carolissen speaks volumes on how deeply entrenched the culture of silence is within the organization in the fact that it has been turning a blind eye to wrongdoing. This culture of impunity must be rooted out.

The IFP fully supports Dr Carolissen and we are pleased that the Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Higher Education & Science and Technology, Mr Philly Mapulane has further committed to write to Minister Blade Nzimande to relay the concerns of the committee and in imploring the Minister to act swiftly NSFAS.

NSFAS has for decades been plagued with poor leadership, a crisis in governance and administration and has in recent years transitioned from a devolved model of administration at Universities and TVETS to a closed central and more corrupt system of management.

It is high time that we fix NSFAS in order to restore confidence and allay fears of non-funding and cover registration costs with institutions of higher learning among thousands of students.

We all want a NSFAS that works, but it will require significant political will and leadership to turn things around. The IFP is committed to ensuring that no qualified learner or student is ever refused access to higher or further education and training due to gross negligence, incompetence and greed.

Siphosethu Ngcobo MP
IFP Spokesperson on Higher Education, Science and Technology
082 902 4508