The embattled National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has removed its Human Resources manager in what it described as consequence management.
According to the entity’s board chairperson, Ernest Khosa, they “separated” with the manager on Wednesday evening.
This was the latest senior member to exit NSFAS, after the resignation of the chief information officer Modibedi Oliphant in September.
More officials could also be shown the door amid the board’s turnaround plan to restructure due to operational and leadership challenges.
“There have been some actions taken in relation to the consequence management in the organisation.
“This forms part of the questions we have received from the (parliament’s portfolio committee for higher education).
“The reason why we let go of the head of the Information and Communication Technology department (Oliphant), had to do with the inefficiencies of the system and matters related to implementing the ICT strategy.
“We now have an acting head of that department.
“In another case of consequence management, NSFAS has separated with the manager of HR.
“We are reacting to the challenges that have been identified.
“This follows consultations and having to hear concerns raised including by the minister (Blade Nzimande).”
Khosa said these concerns included the IT system, human capacity, service delivery and improvement of leadership.
“Cyber security will be enhanced and the implementation of the IT strategy has now commenced, this includes data cleaning.
“This will also ensure a 24-hour availability to address student queries,” said Khosa.
He said the Werksmans Inc investigative report into tender allegations against chief executive Andile Non-gogo, and to review procurement systems and processes would be ready within 10 working days.
According to Khosa, the CEO’s office was also expected to be strengthened.
“We are also at an advanced stage to appoint the NSFAS head of planning and strategy,” he said.
Last month NSFAS could not respond to most of the portfolio committee for higher education’s questions in relation to the new direct payment system, which has affected thousands of students.
Committee chairperson, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, said NSFAS had not provided them with a written response to other questions.
“We are expecting to be furnished with responses to questions we requested last month to be sent in writing.
“NSFAS touched on some matters but has not responded to all of the things we asked.
“The state of affairs at the entity has not been looking good at all and the committee has been inundated with complaints from students,” Mkhatshwa said.