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Nzimande questions use of service providers to pay Nsfas funds

The Higher Education Minister has asked for reports from both Nsfas and the WSU on an erroneous multi million-rand deposit into a student's financial aid account.

FILE: Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has questioned why some universities use service providers to manage public funds.

Nzimande, along with National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) CEO Sizwe Nxasana, hosted donors involved in trying to solve the current funding crisis at institutions of higher learning.

It emerged earlier this week that a student from the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) mistakenly received over R14 million in June from funding admin company Intellimali.

Nzimande says he's asked for reports from both Nsfas and the WSU on the erroneous multi million-rand deposit into a student's financial aid account.

“On my side, I have requested Nsfas to give me a report as well as Walter Sisulu University to give me a report, and then there must be a thorough investigation.”

Nzimande says his department is also looking into why some institutions are not distributing funds themselves.

“Why are they not using their own offices, whether its financial aid offices or whatever the case may be. Why service provider? Who pays for that?”

Both the minister and Nsfas have assured the public that despite the bungle, taxpayer money is in good hands.