UP among institutions that repaid unallocated NSFAS funds

Special Investigating Unit spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Special Investigating Unit spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Published Mar 15, 2024


The University of Pretoria (UP) has paid unallocated funds due to National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has said.

The money is from 2016 to 2021, SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said UP had paid in instalments of R100 000, bringing the total recoveries to R 937 926 351 received from institutions of higher learning, since the investigation into NSFAS was launched in September 2022.

“The unallocated funds are monies for students who qualified for funding, but either changed institutions or deregistered; the funds stay in the possession of the institution for a year,” he said.

Kganyago added that the unallocated funds were due to poor control systems and a lack of reconciliation processes on the part of NSFAS and were not collected from institutions of higher learning.

The institutions co-operated when they were approached by the SIU, leading to a quick recovery.

Kganyago said the SIU has so far recovered the funds from the West Coast College, which has repaid R5 057 679, NorthLink College’s R33 369 404.97; Walter Sisulu University with R 19 900 174, Nkangala TVET College’s R342 672.50 and the University of Johannesburg with R311 892 088.94, among others.

He said, the SIU had also signed an acknowledgement of the debt agreement of R38 707 884.10 with Motheo TVET College in the Free State, as well as R10 997 855.50 with parents and students who did not meet the NSFAS funding criteria.

The SIU investigation revealed that NSFAS failed to design and implement controls to ensure that there is an annual reconciliation between the funds disbursed to the institutions and the allocation of those funds to the students, the control weaknesses had led to overpayments and underpayments of funds to the different institutions over the period 2017 to date.

NSFAS has recently appointed a service provider to assist in performing this reconciliation via a process called “close-out reporting”.

Furthermore, the SIU found that Celbux – the e-wallet/voucher payment system – had many “dormant” accounts lying active on the its system dating back to 2018, amounting to an estimated value of R320 million.

Kganyago further added that, regarding NSFAS-funded accommodation, the SIU found that details of the accommodation such as physical addresses and details of the landlord or owner of the accommodation were not captured on the NSFAS system.

Pretoria News

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