Cape Town - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the payment of R311m made by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says that the monies paid by UJ are unallocated funds from 2016 to 2021.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, said that the unallocated funds were meant for students who qualified for funding but either changed institutions or deregistered, and the funds stayed in the possession of the institution.
“The payment made by UJ brings the total amount received from institutions of higher learning to approximately R349.3m since the inception of the NSFAS investigation in September 2022.
“The SIU encourages all institutions of higher learning to come forward and pay back unallocated funds that are due to NSFAS," Kganyago said.
He added that the unallocated funds were supposed to have been collected by NSFAS at the end of each year from institutions of higher learning through reconciliation.
“However, the SIU’s investigation revealed that NSFAS failed to design and implement controls that would ensure that there is an annual reconciliation between the funds disbursed to the institutions and the funded list of registered students.
“To remedy this, NSFAS has recently appointed a service provider to assist them perform this reconciliation in a process called close out reporting,” Kganyago said.
He said that the SIU is in terms of Proclamation R88 of 2022, authorised to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NSFAS, and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State through corruption and negligence.
“The SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name, to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during both investigations caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration.
“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action,” Kganyago added.