The Democratic Alliance has demanded that the NSFAS board appear before parliament to provide clarity on how they will ensure students are not negatively affected by the cancellation of the four direct payments contracts.
CANCELLATION OF DIRECT PAYMENT CONTRACTS
This follows an investigation by law firm Werkmans Attorneys and advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, which exposed NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo for hand-picking the four inexperienced service providers to handle the R47 billion fund.
The four axed service providers are eZaga Holdings, Coinvest Africa, Norraco Holdings, and Tenet Technology.
Nongogo, who has since been suspended, has until Monday to provide reasons as to why his contract should not be terminated.
DA Shadow Minister on Higher Education Chantel King has questioned how students will now receive their allowances.
“We need to be briefed on how NSFAS will implement direct payment once the contracts of the four service providers are cancelled and whether a new bid process with new service providers will be considered,” says King.
DELAYED NSFAS PAYMENTS
Earlier this year, students across the country voiced their frustrations over the new direct payment system and called for Minister Blade Nzimande to suspend the contracts.
The implementation of the new systems has left thousands of students experiencing a delay in payments.
However, Nzimande, in a statement in August, backed the contracts to the four companies, despite a damning report by OUTA and the SIU and Public Protector looking into the awarding of the contracts.
At the time, Nzimande said the four companies fairly won the bid.
“The appointed partners (the four companies) are sponsored by banks that possess commercial banking licenses. They additionally have both Payment Association of South Africa licenses and Affiliate Banking licenses in order for them to have a sponsored banking license to operate and process payments,” he added.
CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLES BY APHIWE NGWENYA