Home South African NSFAS board to review all decisions during administrator’s tenure

NSFAS board to review all decisions during administrator’s tenure

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Chairperson Ernest Khosa said on Tuesday night the resolution was taken about 10 days ago to allow for a three-month review that would start in about three weeks.

Wits University students sing and dance during a mass meeting outside the Wits Senate House in this file photo. File Picture.

Cape Town – THE newly appointed board of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will review decisions taken during the time of former administrator Randall Carolissen.

Chairperson Ernest Khosa said on Tuesday night the resolution was taken about 10 days ago to allow for a three-month review that would start in about three weeks.

“As the board, we took a resolution to review all decisions that have been taken. Those decisions are linked to all these matters in the public domain,” Khosa said.

He was briefing the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) when the committee held a hearing into the bursary fund’s annual report for 2019/20.

He said the matters they wanted to also look had led the portfolio committee on higher education and training to institute an inquiry last year.

Khosa said they wanted to be informed and better understand what happened, so that they were in a better position to respond to questions and account.

“It is to ensure that the organisation institutionally redirected such that it is fit for purposes. We found it necessary to look at issues related to systems to deal with inefficiencies,” he said.

Khosa assured Scopa that if there was a need to act, the board and new management would not hesitate.

Last year, Nehawu made a submission to the higher education and training portfolio committee, alleging that the institution was in a far worse position than it had been before Carolissen came.

Some of its allegations were that the former administrator appointed his friends and associates to senior positions at the NSFAS, and that he was engaged in a reign of terror in that he victimised and targeted employees who refused to participate in his illegal activities.

The union said there was non-compliance with statutory requirements.

It also raised concerns about the exorbitant remuneration and benefits paid to Carolissen and his team of advisers, including accommodation at luxury apartments at the V&A Waterfront, weekly return tickets, monthly unlimited car hire and airport shuttles and transfers with dedicated chauffeurs.

Carolissen was brought to the NSFAS in 2018, to turn around the institution when it faced serious administrative and financial problems. His tenure ended in December.

Khosa said the board and new management were committed to good governance.

“It is for this reason that we set up new committees to ensure there is good governance. We are busy developing a strategic framework to deal with the challenges.”

He said their resolution to review the decision of Carolissen was to ensure all matters that rendered the NSFAS inefficient were properly investigated.

Khosa also told Scopa among their key priorities was to address audit finding from the auditor-general.

“We are busy addressing that and, to a great extent, the AG is satisfied with the progress, according to the information we have.”

Political Bureau