SIU must investigate allegations that Minister Nzimande and NSFAS board were involved in awarding dodgy direct payment contracts

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
24 Oct 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP

While the DA welcomes the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) board’s decision to fire former CEO, Andile Nongogo, it is clear that much opacity remains regarding the dodgy awarding of the contracts to four direct payment service providers. The DA will request the NSFAS board’s urgent appearance before the parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education.

While NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa announced that the contracts of all four service providers were cancelled last week, Tenet Technologies CEO Ryan Passmore has refuted this claim and threatened to sue the State should his contact be cancelled. The portfolio committee needs to be availed regarding the particulars of the contract cancellations, on how NSFAS will mitigate the impact on students, as well as the outcomes of the disciplinary hearings against the other implicated staff members.

The former CEO has also made allegations of the NSFAS board and the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande’s involvement in the awarding of the contracts. Nongogo claims that Khosa not only handpicking 12 companies that were to provide student accommodation to NSFAS beneficiaries, but that the Minister and the NSFAS were fully aware of the decision to appoint the four direct payment companies and provided inputs.

We will request a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into the allegations against the Minister and the NSFAS board. These allegations raise serious concerns that NSFAS funds meant for students have become a personal slush fund for board members.

Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, and his Director-General, Dr Nkosinathi Shishi’s silence on the matter is very troubling.

It is clear that urgent intervention and policy direction is needed to overhaul NSFAS and ensure its sustainability. It is clear that the Minister will continue to shift the goal posts regarding the tabling of the comprehensive funding model.

The DA will do everything in our power to ensure that students are untouched by the chaos at NSFAS.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at