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Minister Nzimande Stands Behind NSFAS Administrator

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The Minister in charge of Higher Education has defended NSFAS Administrator, Randall Carolissen, against various accusations laid against him by unions and employees. The Union previously initiated protests at NSFAS head offices.

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The Minister in charge of Higher Education has defended NSFAS Administrator, Randall Carolissen, against various accusations laid against him by unions and employees. 

The National Education and Health Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) has said that Randall Carolissen being appointed as the Administrator of NSFAS hasn't solved any issues. The Union also wanted Carolissen to be fired, saying that he has run the institution into the ground.

"I don't say people have no right to complain about things they see not going okay, but not so long ago we were so positive about the administrator and his good work, including this portfolio committee. He has actually changed so many things under very difficult circumstances," Nzimande said.

IOL reported that the Minister said free higher education had done well under Carolissen, since it was announced in December 2017 to start in January 2018.

I am not saying that there are no problems. We must not present a sense of hullabaloo. We have done well because it was like an impossible task given to the Department of Higher Education and Training and many of us have said, of course, Dr Carolissen has done well.

- Minister Blade Nzimande

The Minister said, "We must not just because there are new things that we are not happy about and then rubbish all the good work he has done ... On my side, I want to put it on record that I think he has done a sea change in terms of what NSFAS was and some of the challenges of the organisation".

The Administrator responded and denied the claims laid against him and previously said, “We want to put it out there that we don't agree with these allegations. We will co-operate with any legitimate process regarding these allegations. Some of the statements are factually incorrect".

Carolissen said that they are taking Nehawu's allegations seriously and find them to be offensive and baseless. NEHAWU also questioned the Administrator's relationship with the Minister to which he said, "I reject allegations of a corrupt relationship between me and the Minister".

Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Buti Manamela, has also come out in support for the Adminstrator and told EWN that he disagrees with Nehawu and thinks that Carolissen has done a great job in his position at NSFAS.

As far as we’re concerned, NSFAS has stabilised over the last two years ... There has not been a substantiation of the allegations of corruption and maladministration.

- Deputy Minister Buti Manamela

Just last week, NEHAWU engaged in protests which saw NSFAS employees demanding that NSFAS gives workers' an increase of 8% to their salaries. NEHAWU and NSFAS have now reached an agreement and signed a wage negotiation agreement. Salary increases resulting from the wage agreement will be implemented on 30 October and backdated to 1 April 2020, said NSFAS.

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