The Motheo Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college in the Free State has taken a significant step towards accountability by signing an Acknowledgement of Debt (AoD) agreement with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). According to SANews, this agreement results from the SIU’s ongoing investigation into the NSFAS money.
The college has willingly committed to repaying an amount totalling R38,686,477.10 to NSFAS. These funds, categorised as unallocated, span from 2017 to 2022. Unallocated funds refer to monies intended for students who met the funding criteria but either changed institutions or deregistered. According to the regulations, these funds should have been returned to NSFAS after the specified period.
To fulfil this commitment, Motheo TVET College will make monthly instalments of R855,679.91 over 60 months. Notably, this is the first AoD agreement signed between the SIU and an institution of higher learning since the initiation of the investigation.
Encouraged by this progress, the SIU is urging other higher learning institutions to step forward and reimburse unallocated NSFAS money owed to NSFAS. Thus far, the SIU has successfully recovered over R421.3 million from various higher learning institutions.
The SIU’s preliminary investigation has raised concerns about allocating NSFAS money to individuals who did not meet the qualification criteria, potentially amounting to more than R5 billion.
Empowered by Proclamation R88 of 2022, the SIU is authorised to scrutinise allegations of corruption and maladministration within NSFAS to recover any financial losses incurred by the State due to corruption or negligence.
The SIU retains the authority to initiate civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal to rectify any misconduct discovered during investigations linked to corruption, fraud, or maladministration.
By the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will also refer any evidence of criminal conduct uncovered during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further legal action.
Picture: X / RSASIU
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