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Nzimande blasts corruption claims in NSFAS case

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Nzimande blasts corruption claims in NSFAS case

Nzimande blasts corruption claims in NSFAS case. Higher education, science, and innovation minister Dr Blade Nzimande, along with NSFAS chairperson Ernest Khosa, faces allegations of receiving kickbacks amounting to millions of rands. These alleged kickbacks include at least R1 million destined for the South African Communist Party (SACP) from a fintech partner involved in disbursing monthly allowances to NSFAS-funded tertiary students.

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Outa Revelations

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) brought these allegations to light by releasing leaked voice recordings of meetings between Khosa and a service provider’s representative. According to Outa, these recordings, coupled with their report, expose corruption and mismanagement within NSFAS.

Minister Nzimande Response

In response to the allegations, Minister Nzimande held a media briefing to challenge the Outa report, labeling it as part of a ‘nefarious fight-back campaign.’ He denies any involvement in corruption, kickbacks, or using departmental funds for the SACP. Nzimande dismisses these claims as lies and emphasizes his commitment to clean governance.

Legal Action and Ethical Processes

Minister Nzimande asserts his clear conscience and declares his intention to take legal action. He voluntarily submits himself to the relevant legal processes and ethics bodies of the African National Congress (ANC) and the SACP, affirming his determination to face the allegations transparently.

NSFAS Background

As an entity of the Department of Higher Education and Training, NSFAS manages a nearly R50 billion annual budget, providing financial aid to eligible students at public TVET colleges and universities. Last October, NSFAS decided to sever ties with fintech partners involved in disbursing monthly allowances following an investigation into conflict of interest allegations.

Opposition Response

Political parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), call for Nzimande’s resignation. DA leader John Steenhuisen demands a broader investigation into the alleged kickbacks and intends to pursue legal action based on the findings of the State Capture Commission.

Conclusion

The NSFAS saga unfolds amid allegations of corruption, kickbacks, and mismanagement, prompting a robust response from Minister Nzimande and calls for accountability from political opposition. The situation remains dynamic as legal and ethical processes are set in motion to address the claims.

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NSFAS News

South Africa Two New Universities | The Latest Update

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South Africa Two New Universities | The Latest Update

South Africa Two New Universities |The Latest Update. South Africa is poised to tackle its skill shortage head-on with the rapid development of two innovative universities, aiming not only to expand access to higher education but also to tailor programs to meet the demands of the local job market.

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Hammanskraal University | Targeting Crime Prevention

One of the newly proposed universities, Hammanskraal University, is set to play a pivotal role in combating the nation’s crime epidemic by specializing in Police and Crime Detection. Currently, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is conducting a thorough evaluation of existing expertise within the Hammanskraal police academy to identify areas for enhancement through new faculty appointments.

Additionally, partnerships with established universities offering advanced degrees in relevant fields are being explored to bolster the university’s academic prowess.

Ekurhuleni University of Science and Innovation| Fostering Scientific Advancement

In a bid to address the absence of a major university in Ekurhuleni, the region will soon be home to the Ekurhuleni University of Science and Innovation, dedicated to promoting Science and Innovation. As the planning enters its second phase, critical considerations such as infrastructure development, faculty recruitment, and curriculum design are at the forefront.

This includes meticulous planning for a state-of-the-art campus equipped with modern facilities and technology, as well as strategies to attract and retain top-tier faculty members.

Government Initiatives For Collaboration and Growth

Recognizing the significance of collaboration in nurturing strong academic institutions, the government has outlined several strategies to foster partnerships and streamline transitions for students. This includes collaborating with established universities to lay a solid academic foundation, bridging the gap between vocational training colleges and the new universities, and creating pathways for postgraduate studies.

The exploration of articulation pathways at the postgraduate level signifies a commitment to providing diverse opportunities for academic advancement and specialization.

Conclusion

The development of these two new universities underscores South Africa’s commitment to addressing skill shortages and driving innovation in key sectors. By prioritizing collaboration, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement, the government aims to ensure the success and sustainability of these institutions for generations to come.

As the implementation phase gains momentum, the prospect of a brighter future for South African higher education looms ever closer.

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