The board of the troubled National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will soon be dissolved‚ the department of higher education & training confirmed on Sunday.
The department said it was hiring an administrator who will take over the running of the multi-billion-rand scheme for a period yet to be determined. Department spokesman, Lunga Ngqengelele said higher education & training minister Naledi Pandor had convened a special meeting with the board on Friday during which appointment of an administrator was ratified.
This follows the resignation last week of board chairman, Sizwe Nxasana. A former CEO of FirstRand Limited‚ Nxasana announced he was stepping down on Thursday after three years at the helm.
“The time is right for me to step aside‚” Nxasana said. While the past few years had been extremely challenging‚ “I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to immerse myself in education and contribute to finding sustainable solutions for the higher education sector“.
NSFAS has been struggling to ensure the smooth roll-out of free higher education. Many students have complained about delayed payments‚ which sparked protests at various tertiary institutions earlier in 2018. The baseline allocation to NSFAS to support poor and working-class university and TVET students will increase from close to ZAR9.9 billion in 2017/2018 to about ZAR35.3 billion in 2020/2021.