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Outa Urges Swift Inquiry into Alleged Misconduct by NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo

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Outa Urges Swift Inquiry into Alleged Misconduct by NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo

Outa Urges Swift Inquiry into Alleged Misconduct by NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has demanded a prompt and thorough investigation into the actions of Andile Nongogo, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), concerning his alleged involvement in questionable procurement practices.

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Special Leave for Nongogo Amid Financial Concerns

Nongogo has been placed on special leave by the NSFAS board due to mounting concerns about potential unethical financial transactions with external entities.

NSFAS to Probe Allegations with Emphasis on Direct Payment Initiative

The NSFAS board, in an official statement issued on Wednesday, has affirmed its commitment to investigating the allegations against Nongogo. The primary focus of the investigation will be the recently introduced direct payment project.

Misconduct Tied to Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA)

The allegations directed at Nongogo are centered around his actions during his tenure with the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA), particularly related to the procurement process within NSFAS.

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Implications of Tender Irregularities Involving Millions of Public Funds

Andile Nongogo, who formerly held the position of CEO at SSETA, is implicated in a case involving irregularities in tenders worth R37 million from public funds.

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Outa’s Dual Response: Urgent Investigation and Positive Stance on Leave of Absence

While Outa is advocating for a comprehensive investigation, it also acknowledges the NSFAS board’s decision to place Nongogo on leave during the ongoing inquiry.

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Early Exposé by Outa and Rebuffed Information Requests

Outa has disclosed that it began uncovering these irregularities as far back as September 2022. It further revealed that its requests for information under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) were declined by the scheme.

Revealed Irregularities in Awarded Contracts

Among the irregularities exposed by Outa is the inadequacy of the four companies that secured contracts for implementing the new direct payment system. These companies were found to be ill-equipped for the task and not registered as financial service providers.

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Ministerial Inaction Criticized

Outa has criticized the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, for seemingly disregarding the concerns raised by students regarding the NSFAS direct payment initiative.

NSFAS-Funded Students Face Evictions

In a parallel issue, students funded by NSFAS are facing eviction from their accommodations due to unpaid rental fees. Gold Buffalo Group in Cape Town, for instance, evicted 360 students from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) because of the scheme’s failure to make payments.

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Landlords Express Frustration with NSFAS Payment Delays

The Gold Buffalo Group cited ongoing payment challenges from NSFAS via CPUT as the primary reason for the eviction. The group revealed that they are owed an estimated amount of approximately R6.3 million and expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of resolution from CPUT’s Financial Aid Office and senior management. This issue is reportedly affecting other landlords as well.

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