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DA, ActionSA want Nzimande to resign amid NSFAS ‘crisis’


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DA, ActionSA want Nzimande to resign amid NSFAS ‘crisis’

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande

12th April 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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In light of the resignation of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) chair Ernest Khosa and the dissolvement of the NSFAS board, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and ActionSA are calling for the immediate resignation of Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande.

Nzimande announced on Thursday Khosa's resignation during a media briefing where he set out steps to address the recurring problem of nonpayment of student allowances by the scheme, which he said “impacted negatively” on the wellbeing of students and the continued functioning of the higher education system.


In January, Khosa took a leave of absence to enable the board to deal with allegations against him made by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), accusing him and Nzimande of defrauding NSFAS through kickbacks from service providers.

The DA said Nzimande cannot be “absolved from actions of the board” since he has defended the decisions of the board on numerous occasions.


DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education Chantel King noted that, once again, the nonpayment of student allowances had left many students without funds for food, and even facing the real risk of being put out on the streets.

King said this “dire situation” underscored the urgent need for action to address the systemic failures within NSFAS and the Department of Higher Education.

“The recurring problems of nonpayment of student allowances and the alleged fraudulent activities involving kickbacks from service providers have not only undermined the wellbeing of students but have also threatened the continued functioning of our higher education system,” she said.

Meanwhile, ActionSA highlighted that in recognition of this “injustice”, the party’s Students Chapter would embark on a march to the Union Buildings to hand over a memorandum calling for the immediate removal of Nzimande.

The party noted Khoza’s resignation and the dissolvement of the NSFAS board, saying it believed that the collective should not be under any illusion that they have evaded accountability.

ActionSA filed criminal charges against Nzimande and Khoza following their alleged involvement in a corrupt scheme related to the fraudulent direct payment of allowances, which the party said continued to wreak havoc throughout the higher education sector.

“As our criminal charges are being investigated by the police, we extend the invitation to Minister Blade Nzimande to also resign immediately,” ActionSA said.

It added it was committed to ensuring that students received justice and that it would continue to fight against corruption.


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