Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor has officially appointed Dr Randall Carolissen as the administrator of the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS), following the dissolution of the NSFAS board, a government gazette published on Tuesday announced.
In accordance with Section 17A (3)(a) of the NSFAS Act, the board was dissolved as of August 21 — the date of Carolissen’s appointment.
According to the gazette Carolissen as the administrator, will take over the management, governance and administration of NSFAS.
Carolissen’s duties include overseeing the opening of the 2019 application process and “all necessary” forensic investigations, address the institutions operational challenges and put in place management controls to ensure the 2019 student funding cycle is managed appropriately.
In May, the Mail & Guardian reported that nearly half of the students who had been approved for bursaries and grants by NSFAS, a number totalling 110 756, had not received their funding which led to protests at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, Maluti college in the Free State and the University of Limpopo.
Pandor said that NSFAS had failed to confirm students’ funding and disburse funding timeously, the gazette noted.
For the last two years, the department and experts in the education sector have provided NSFAS with support. But the institution has continued to face challenges with its business processes, IT systems and policies.
“The failures and delays at the entity have had a serious effect on undermining the effective functioning of the entity in carrying out its core mandate,” said Pandor.
Carolissen will have the power to appoint the “necessary technical expertise” for the year he administers NSFAS.
Read Carolissen’s full terms of reference below: