The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered at least R33 million from a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college that was meant for students on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
According to SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, the college – Northlink College – informed the unit about the money after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation authorising the corruption busting unit to investigate the affairs of NSFAS.
“[The] college informed the SIU that it received over R33 million from NSFAS that was not allocated to students between 2017 and 2021 and had invested it without authorisation.
“The TVET college stated to the SIU that it is fully aware that the funds should have been returned to the NSFAS, but Northlink College failed to do so and instead decided to invest the funds and would return the funds on request from NSFAS,” he said.
Kganyago said the SIU is calculating interest “earned from the investment from the commencement date”. When calculated, the interest is expected to be paid into the SIU Trust account.
Kganyago explained that the proclamation signed by President Ramaphosa allows the unit to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration at NSFAS and to “recover any financial losses suffered by the State through corruption and negligence”.
“The SIU investigation focuses on maladministration at NSFAS regarding two functions of the organisation. The first part will look into the management of NSFAS’s finances. The second part will investigate the allocation of loans, bursaries, and any other funding payable to students in terms of the provisions of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Act.
“Furthermore, the SIU is also investigating related unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the NSFAS or the State, including the causes of maladministration. The SIU is also probing any unlawful or improper conduct by employees or officials of the NSFAS or the service providers in question, their employees or any other person or entity,” he said.
Kganyago explained that the proclamation covers a period of some six years from 2016 to August this year and will also look into allegations of “unlawful and improper conduct that took place” at the financial aid scheme.
Source: South African Government News Agency