Desperately needy students have voiced their outrage on Twitter after the Auditor General (AG) findings on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) annual report found the company allegedly incurred $ 50 in irregular spending , R 1 billion “ghost students” had allegedly received funding.
According to the NSFAS Annual Report 2019/20, around 440,000 “irregular” student files were recorded and an unknown number of “ghost students” were funded.
“Evidence of syndicated fraud and corruption resulted in“ ghost students ”being funded, students entering the system without an eligibility check and improving validation using South African Revenue Service (SARS) data and identifying students were from high-income families who received NSFAS scholarships, ”noted the Minister for Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, in his em foreword in the report.
“This evidence has been given to law enforcement agencies and some of the authorities. I have also set up a Ministerial Task Team (MTT) to help review NSFAS ‘core business processes and systems in order to keep the company working ahead. “
Unimpressed students took to Twitter to express their frustration:
According to the annual report, 40% of the 440,000 irregular records were” corrected by corrective action on the initiated financial statements “. This means that more than half of the 440,000 irregular records could still remain in the system unchecked.
“Forensic investigations revealed various aspects of maladministration, ranging from the abuse of personnel processes to fraud and corruption pass. Irregular executive appointments and unauthorized job upgrading remain some of the challenges that needed to be addressed. “
NSFAS said in the report that criminal syndicates spanning higher education had been exposed through its hotline and whistleblower. “Employees have been laid off and criminal charges passed to specialized law enforcement agencies,” NSFAS said.
NSFAS has received qualified audit reports from the WG with irregular expenses recorded over the past three years.
According to the WG’s report to the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology on the National Financial Aid System for Students (NSFAS) 2019/20, NSFAS had reported cumulative irregular expenses of R6. 8 billion. The balance of the previous year accounted for R 6.3 billion of these irregular expenses, and R 522.3 million for the 2019/20 financial year. For the year under review, irregular expenses of R 522.3 million were incurred due to “non-compliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR)” and R 19,000 due to invalid deviations.
The committee found that that the Auditor General of South Africa (AG) had additional concerns about additional irregular expenses of R50.1 billion that were not disclosed because NSFAS did not include the required information on irregular expenses in the notes to the financial statements. under Section 55 (2) (b) (i) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
@MsNtfulini tweeted about the NSFAS results: “Some of us are in universities but are waiting Imagine the academic year started in February, but Dololo NSFAS “.