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Outa applauds NSFAS CEO’s leave of absence

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
20 August 2023 | 08:53 CAT

Image: NSFAS Application

On Thursday, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) welcomed the announcement by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) board that it would place the scheme’s CEO, Andile Nongogo, on a leave of absence. At the same time, it investigates allegations of unacceptable conduct in awarding tenders at NSFAS and other irregularities relating to Nongogo’s tenure at the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta).

Outa has emphasized the necessity of expediting the investigation into Nongogo’s involvement. The organization has called upon the board to take swift corrective action regarding the contracts held with service providers. This appeal for movement stems from Outa’s efforts, which commenced in September 2022 when the organization first started uncovering irregularities. Despite these revelations, a request for additional information from NSFAS under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) was denied in October of the same year.

In February 2023, Outa published a comprehensive report detailing its findings. The report revealed that the four companies awarded tenders to implement the new direct payment system needed to be equipped for the task. Moreover, these companies were not registered as financial service providers, with two lacking VAT vendor registration.

Outa’s head of investigations, Rudie Heyneke, explained that the allegations were severe, saying disciplinary hearings should be conducted after a swift assessment of Outa’s reports and other available information.

“It is a shame that scarce public resources continue to be wasted like this, while legitimate concerns by civil society and people who are directly affected by poor government decisions – in this case, students who rely on financial aid – are ignored by those in power. The actions of executives at higher education institutions have a huge impact on the youth and the future of our country and should always be above suspicion,” said Heyneke.

The Special Investigating Unit is investigating NSFAS, and Outa has shared its investigation reports with the unit.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Moulana Juniad Kharsany.

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