The National Students Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS) has admitted that it paid billions of Rand to students as allowance in an error. Despite this huge money going waste, the Scheme managers ate very hopeful that they will be able to fund the 2020 student applicants.
Dr Randall Carollesson, the NSFAS administrator, made it known to Parliament this week that, incorrect payments have seen an increase of 300% between now and the year 2017.
It has become a great concern for the government and other stakeholders why such huge sums.
Dr. Randall has however downplayed any fears that because of this development, it will not be able to fund the student allowances.
In his address, he was heard saying:
In our investigations, we found that R7 billion was accounted for irregular expenditure and we are determining how much of that can be recovered. The recoverability of that R7 billion we estimate it to be R1 billion and we have begun to recover. So far we have recovered R350,000 million from universities.”
He recounted how difficult it is to retrieve money from people who are not working.
So the questions some people in South Africans are asking is will those officials of NSFAS who out of negligence or deliberate actions paid such funds to students as allowances should be made to pay back the funds or face full rigours of the law for causing financial loss to the state?
He also admitted that even the R1billion will be very difficult to retrieve although they’re trying their best.
“The R1 billion is where we think we are going to have a tough time getting it back. A large part of that money was paid out to students in error as their allowance.”
Dr Randall was quick to admit that staff of the Scheme accessed the system off-site and authorized payments. He said security has been beef up this time around to avoid any future occurrence.
In view of the above development, the editor of this portal believes that, there should be deep auditing to find out who are real beneficiaries of this so-called error. Such students should tracked with their students id’s and National ID’s so that when they start working, such funds will deducted from their salaries at source.
As said earlier, all those staff members of NSFAS who are found culpable of indulgence should be sanctioned.
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