Nehawu and NSFAS clash on lack of improvement under administrator’s reign
Cape Town - The battle is on between the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bosses.
This comes after the union submitted to Parliament a wide-ranging list of allegations and claims that since administrator Dr Randall Carolissen’s arrival, there has not been any significant change, and that the entity is in a far worse state.
In its submission to the portfolio committee on higher education, science and technology, Nehawu alleged that Carolissen appointed his friends and associates to senior positions, some without following proper recruitment procedures.
The union said Carolissen was engaged in a reign of terror at the entity, as he victimised and purged targeted employees, especially those who refused to participate in his unlawful activities, and that there was non-compliance with statutory requirements.
Nehawu provincial secretary Eric Kweleta told the committee on Friday that Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande had extended Carolissen’s term for a period of four months from September to December.
Kweleta claimed this was done “silently”, without notice in the Government Gazette and without consultation with stakeholders. Committee chairperson Philly Mapulane said it was of grave concern to the committee that allegations had been made that Carolissen misled Parliament on three occasions.
Mapulane said on the first occasion, he created the impression that he was the one responsible for the cancellation of the VBS Mutual Bank contract, when it was actually cancelled by the previous board.
“Secondly, the union claims that he misled Parliament when he created the impression that NSFAS has moved from SBUX payment system to NSFAS eWallet, when the two are actually two platforms by the same system.”
Mapulane said the last occasion was the claim that the administrator misled by stating incorrect reasons for the delay in the tabling of the last year’s annual report.
“Contrary to general denials, some of the issues raised have merit and NSFAS has actually conceded in its own submission to the committee, that indeed there has been irregularities in the appointment of certain employees,” he said.
Carolissen told the committee that he did not agree with the allegations and that he and his colleagues were determined to protect their rights and reputations, and would co-operate with any legitimate process.
When the Cape Argus contacted Carolissen’s office, he said a process to establish the facts was under way.