In today’s NSFAS news – The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is under investigation, stemming from claims beginning six years ago. Now, the investigation is finally underway, with some feeling that the matter is long overdue. 

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has announced that it would probe alleged corruption and maladministration at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorized the probe into NSFAS, following allegations of misadministration surrounding the allocation (or lack thereof) of funds, housing and academic exclusion of students. 

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The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) welcomes the President’s proclamation, and fully believes that corruption is directly responsible for some students’ difficulties with the Financial Aid provider. 

The investigation, now finally underway, has been brewing for six years. 

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The South African Students Congress (SASCO) is in full agreeance with NEHAWU, labelling the probe as “long overdue.”

“There’s been an alleged maladministration at the headquarters of NSFAS, which impedes on the service delivery of the very same institution. The people are affected a lot by this maladministration and corruption of NSFAS, mainly students, but also the sector in general,” says SASCO National Organiser, Athenkosi Mabona. 

The probe by the SIU will focus (amongst others) on two areas, namely, the management of NSFAS’s finances, and the allocation of loans, bursaries and any other funding payable to students in terms of the NSFAS Act.

The investigation comes after the East London Magistrates’ Court, in May, found Sibongile Mani guilty of stealing R818 000 of the R14 million that was accidentally credited to her in 2017, while she was a student at Walter Sisulu University (WSU). 

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“We have on numerous occasions highlighted that the scheme has deviated from its core mandate of providing loans and bursaries to eligible students at public higher education institutions, and for the administration of such loans and bursaries as a result of the malfeasances at the institution,” reads NEHAWU’s statement, released on the 27th of August, 2022. 

Surprisingly, this is not the first investigation into the financial aid provider. 

Similar allegations were made back in 2014, this time with the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande pointing the finger. 

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These claims came after allegations of students buying funding from NSFAS as well as officials awarding funding to students who did not qualify for the scheme. 

NEHAWU feels the investigation will “play a critical role in uprooting the scourge of corruption and maladministration that engulfs the institution.” 

SASCO says those who are found to have participated in this alleged corruption should be arrested. 


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