Parliament wants answers on R14m student payment

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training chairperson, Connie September, says the committee deserves to be taken into confidence about the erroneous payment of R14 million to a student at Walter Sisulu University (WSU). 

“It can only serve to benefit members of the committee to be brought up to speed on how such a dubious act occurred and why it took this long to be identified. The committee wants to know the number of students who could have benefitted from this money,” September said. 

September’s comments come after media reports exposed how a student at the WSU spent over R800 000 following the erroneous payment into her account. 

The company, Intellimali, which is responsible for the mishap, said it will follow the law in trying to recover the money.

September said it was unacceptable that such a grave mistake could occur undetected on money appropriated by Parliament, and disbursed by various entities, including the Department of Higher Education. 

She said that while the committee accepts that this is not the fault of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), companies that NSFAS uses to distribute funding should be of “unquestionable capacity with efficiency all round”. 

She said it was unfortunate that the student did not query the extra zeros that have been put to the original amount she should have received. 

“The committee accepts that steps are underway to recover the money and is keen to hear from the department and NSFAS on the matter. The company [Intellimali] may as well be required to come and appear before the committee,” September said. –

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