Committee urges NSFAS to recoup money paid mistakenly to graduates
July 12, 2018
Parliament, South Africa The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, has expressed shock at media reports that post graduate students who have finished with their studies are still receiving student aid funding.
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Connie September, said: “This is outrageous and unacceptable thievery. Given the challenges that the system has, it is inexplicable how graduates would boast about receiving money from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).”
“The committee needs an update briefing as to how this kind of recklessness with tax-payers’ money occurs. we will ask both NSFAS and the Walter Sisulu University to clarify this incident, and assure taxpayers that their monies are not being squandered,” she said.
Weekend media reports indicated that students who have graduated were still recipients of the NSFAS funding.
September said this was an indication that systems of consultants tasked with distributing the funds must be in line with NSFAS’s, universities’ and the Department of Higher Education’s systems.
“NSFAS should not just be about transferring large sums of money to third parties for distribution. It should be possible that on any given day, from any system, one is able to draw personal data, academic progress, as well as the financial assistance about beneficiaries,” she said.
She called on universities to regularly avail details of their graduate students, and see if they could assist with identifying those who may have benefitted after graduation.
“It is advisable that all the stakeholders concerned must investigate this and that all monies that had been erroneously paid to graduates should be returned to the system,” she said.
September said the committee will also ask for a progress report on the R14 million payment made to Ms Mani. “We appeal to students, as future leaders, to be honourable and not take money that does not belong to them. Corruption is bad even if you are a student. All these incorrectly made payments must be recovered,” she said.