Student scheme gets clean audit

2011-10-10 17:50
Johannesburg - The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) received an unqualified audit in the past financial year, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday.

"This is an outstanding achievement and vindicates my decision in December 2010 to restructure the board of NSFAS," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"Much work remains to be done in the current financial year and beyond to improve financial management at NSFAS."

In 2010, the scheme was issued a disclaimer of opinion by the auditor general (AG). The AG found accounting standards related to loan value and interest were not adhered to.

In addition, the scheme could not provide "scientifically compelling evidence" for writing off R589m in interest on outstanding loans.

The scheme was found to have incorrectly calculated interest income of R181m.

Lastly, there was a reconciliation discrepancy of R42m between the scheme's loan management system and its accounting records.

"The work done in 2011 to correct these deficiencies required the NSFAS to recalculate every student loan on its books," Nzimande said.

Through this activity, it was found the scheme overcharged interest on a total of some 34 000 students' loans. An estimated R77.8m had been set aside to refund those students.

Nzimande said a troubling finding was that the scheme had an irregular expenditure of R25.6m.

"This is completely unacceptable in a public entity and corrective action has been taken as part of the turnaround plan."

Nzimande said the future of the scheme would see the financial eligibility criteria widened, especially to include parents in the public sector who earned more than R120 000 but did not qualify for a bank loan.

The scheme would also develop programmes to reduce the number of students who failed or dropped out.

According to reported statistics from the Council for Higher Education, a third of those assisted by NSFAS would drop out, while another third would not complete their degrees on time.

"My department and the NSFAS are in the process of introducing these far-reaching changes...which will see it achieve these goals over the next three years.

The NSFAS is a state agency established in 1999 to offer financial assistance for education to poor students.

It was allocated R5.5bn for 2011/2012. It helped 210 000 people at 23 universities and 50 Further Education and Training colleges in 2010.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nsfas  |  blade nzimande  |  education
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.