This is an acknowledgment and welcome action by the Special Investigating Unit of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
On April 18th, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) heard the (SUIs) report 2023. According to the SIU, NSFAS funds intended for 40,000 students were wrongfully awarded to Those who did not qualify for funding.
These are data that NSFAS shared with SIU and cover earlier academic years. In some cases, applicants falsified information in their applications in order to benefit unduly from the scheme. As a result, the scheme could not verify the information through third-party sources such as the South African Revenue Service and the Department of Home Affairs. NSFAS verifications now include these verifications as part of their process since 2020.
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In several press briefings, Minister Blade Nzimande reaffirmed his support for NSFAS’ efforts to hold fraudsters accountable for defrauding the scheme. Announcing the opening of the application cycle for 2023, the minister said he welcomed the proclamation as well as that he was sending a strong warning to those who continue to defraud NSFAS and that in conjunction with our law enforcement agencies, we are investigating all suspected cases of fraud and corruption.
As the SIU cracks down on those seeking undue advantage from the scheme, NSFAS welcomes the commitment. As a result, NSFAS believes that those who try to unlawfully benefit to the detriment of poor and deserving students will learn a lesson and be deterred.
NSFAS had already started the process of de-funding these students and pursuing recovery as the SIU started its work. To prevent instances of undeserved benefits, NSFAS continuously improves its controls.
A full cooperative relationship continues between NSFAS and the SIU investigation team, as well as providing all information and support necessary for the exercise to be successful.
Issued by: The National Student Financial Aid Scheme
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Ms Maduvha Maseda: 081 020 6445
Email: [email protected]
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