Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has appointed Andile Nongogo as the new CEO of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Nongogo, who previously served as CFO at Services Seta, will serve for a period of five years. NSFAS had been under administration since in August 2018, when then chairperson Sizwe Nxasana resigned along with the scheme’s CEO Steven Zwane.
Former minister of higher education Naledi Pandor placed the scheme under administration and hired Dr Randall Carolissen as administrator to fix the troubled organisation that millions of students relied upon.
Nzimande has also hired a 13-member board for NSFAS which will serve for a period of four years.
They are Ernest Khosa (chairperson), Yonke Twani, Bamanye Matiwane, Jullie Beya, Cyril Madiba, Reshma Mathura, Max Fuzani, Richard Msweli, Pumela Msweli, Sanele Zondi, Lindiwe Matlali and Pretty Makukule.
The Minister thanked Carolissen for his work in turning NSFAS around over the past 29 months.
Carolissen’s work has not been without controversy as he was accused of employing his own relatives at NSFAS.
Some of the complaints were taken to Parliament. At a media conference, Carolissen denied it and said none of his relatives were employed at the financial aid scheme.
Nzimande defended Carolissen, saying he had done a good job and most complaints against him were laid by disgruntled NSFAS employees facing disciplinary hearings.
“The state that NSFAS was in 29 months ago is vastly different. It is a sea change. R40 billion will be distributed this year and we have done this efficiently.
“Indeed, there will be people who have complaints. The portfolio committee on higher education has a right to deal with issues and those issues are being dealt with as a labour dispute. Those who have gone there to complain are those facing corruption allegations. They are trying to find another way to discredit the administrator,” the Minister said.
He also dismissed accusations he had a hand in the appointment of his former chief of staff Sibongile Ncwabe as the NSFAS chief corporate services officer.
“I reject the idea that someone who was employed as my chief of staff should not be hired at NSFAS. Why should people who work in ministries not be employed anywhere else?,” Nzimande remarked.
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