Minister Pandor warns of 'looming disaster' at Nsfas

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor says the scheme does not have the technological systems required to administer the billions it receives in funding.

Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: @HigherEduGovZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor says that she would like the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) to be used as a testing ground for government’s Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives.

She says the scheme does not have the technological systems required to administer the billions it receives in funding.

Parliament on Thursday kicked off a series of round table discussions on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the build up to a national seminar later this year.

Pandor says that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is required to manage double the funding it usually has to administer, but is struggling to cope.

"They don’t have the technology to process appropriately. It’s actually quite a looming disaster for us."

The minister says that while there are areas where the country is lagging behind in terms of research and product development, the financial services sector is extremely innovative, and should be prioritised.

"I would love it if we could use Nsfas as a testing ground for developing more proficient technology responses."

She says the country’s knowledge institutions have the ability to address a range of objectives and goals to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.