portfolio committee


A report by the Department of Basic Education has revealed that scores of young girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years old are infected with HIV every week. This was stated during the department's state of teenage pregnancy and comprehensive sexuality report presented to the portfolio committee on Basic Education.

The Education Department and the Portfolio Committee are concerned about the delays in the school infrastructure projects. The Department and the departmental divisions across the different provinces are discussing implementing a penalty to hold the agents causing the delays accountable. 

Despite currently experiencing a shortfall of funds to support first time entering students, NSFAS reportedly has an irregular expenditure of over R500 billion. Members of Parliament are now expressing their displeasure with the financial aid scheme and want answers.

More than 300 000 youth in South Africa have been employed as education and general assistants, more than 19 000 will be welcomed to address academic disruptions caused by Covid-19 in the Free State. 

NSFAS made the decision to pull the funding from over 5000 students earlier this year. The financial aid scheme is now said to have reversed it for hundreds of students. NSFAS has received a lot of backlash following this action but is supported by the Minister.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are now calling for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to remove the Administrator from his position. They now claiming that the Administrator has turned the financial aid scheme into a 'mafia operation'.

NSFAS Administrator, Randall Carolissen, denied the claims against himself and NSFAS. Carolissen sat in front of the Portfolio Committee and delivered responses to all the allegations issued by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union.

NSFAs showed up ready in front of Parliament for the second time to respond to allegations made by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union Trade union (NEHAWU) against the organisation, many being against the Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen. 

The Portfolio Committee of Higher Education are now concerned about the delays being presented in finalising the audit of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). They were recently briefed on the outcomes of the audit.

There has recently been a lot of back and forth between The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Today, NEHAWU was absent at a meeting to discuss the matter further with the NSFAS Administrator present.

Blade Nzimande, the Minister who oversees Higher Education, has said that his Department aims to improve student accommodation in the country. This has always been a major issue in the higher education sector with students constantly seeking suitable accommodation spaces.

The Minister of Higher Education has re-addressed the situation where NSFAS pulled the funding of 5000 students. NSFAS and the Department received a lot of scrutiny after this process and were seen as irresponsible and an attack on the missing middle.

Minister in charge of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, has said that he is unhappy when it comes to the procurement of laptops for students which is being run by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. The Department is now questioning whether the process of procuring laptops for students is still needed.

A civil war seems to be raging at the student financial aid scheme with some staff supporting the Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen and others supporting their union's calls for him to be removed.  The battle moved from the picket outside the head office to parliament this week (virtually at least) as the portfolio committee sat through 5 hours of allegations and denials. 

Parliament expressed concern that students still have not received the laptops they were promised by Government and that this could also be involved with an alleged interference in the process. However, NSFAS has responded to the concerns shown and laid out what they've been doing.

Members of Parliament have expressed concern about the delay seen in getting and giving laptops to students who are funded by NSFAS who were promised devices months ago. Companies and external organisations have also seen the urgent need for devices for students to access online learning as many programmes to provide students with laptops have been started.

Minister Nzimande presented the adjusted budget for the Department of Higher Education which saw budget cuts amounting to almost R10 billion. However, not all politicians were happy with it. He also spoke on launching a review of Unisa, TVET qualifications as well as the sector itself. 

Government is working with NSFAS to allow for changes to be made to the policies surrounding NSFAS learning material allowances. Minister Nzimande also spoke on the Higher Education budget allocations for NSFAS.