The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered R33 489 884.37 from Northlink College in the Western Cape as part of its National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) investigations. This is the first actual recovery of government money since the signing of Proclamation R88 of 2022 on Friday, 26 August 2022.
Northlink College is a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college that receives NSFAS funding for students who need the financial aid to further their studies. Following the announcement of Proclamation R88 of 2022, the college informed the SIU that it received over R33 million from NSFAS that was not allocated to students between 2017 and 2021 and had invested it without authorisation.
The TVET college stated to the SIU that it is fully aware that the funds should have been returned to the NSFAS, but Northlink College has failed to do so, and instead decided to invest the funds and would return the funds on request from NSFAS. The SIU is currently calculating interest earned from the investment from the commencement date, and such interest would have to be paid into the SIU Trust account.
The SIU is in terms of Proclamation R88 of 2022 authorised by the President to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NSFAS, and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State through corruption and negligence. The SIU investigation focuses on maladministration at NSFAS regarding two functions of the
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organisation. The first part will look into the management of NSFAS’s finances. The second part will investigate the allocation of loans, bursaries, and any other funding payable to students in terms of the provisions of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Act, 1999, Act No. 56 of 1999.
Furthermore, the SIU is also investigating related unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the NSFAS or the State, including the causes of maladministration. The SIU is also probing any unlawful or improper conduct by employees or officials of the NSFAS or the service providers in question, their employees or any other person or entity.
The proclamation covers allegations of unlawful and improper conduct that took place between 1 April 2016 and 26 August 2022, the date of the publication of the Proclamation, or before 1 April 2016 and after the date of this Proclamation that are relevant to, connected with, incidental to the matters or involve the same persons, entities or contracts investigated.
The SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name, to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during both investigations caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration. In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.
Fraud and corruption allegations may be reported via the following platforms: email@example.com / Hotline: 0800 037 774.
Enquiries: Mr Kaizer Kganyago
Head of Stakeholder Relations and Communications
Special Investigating Unit
012 843 0048 / 082 306 8888