The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) has appointed Andile Nongogo as its new chief executive officer (CEO) for the next five years.
Nongogo replaces Steven Zwane, who was suspended in 2018 amid allegations of maladministration.
Its chairperson Sizwe Nxasana had also resigned prior to Zwane’s suspension, leaving the financial aid scheme rudderless.
The Department of Higher Education then appointed Randall Carollissen as an administrator to clean up after the pair.
On Thursday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande revealed the latest appointment.
“After an extensive search, I concurred with the decision of Nsfas to appointed Mr Andile Nongogo as the Chief Executive Officer of Nsfas for a period of five years.
“I also wish to take this opportunity to thank Dr Randall Carolissen, the Administrator of Nsfas for having done a great job in turning organisation around over this past two and a half years, as his tenure comes to an end in December 2020. Despite many challenges, Nsfas is a much better entity now than it was when you took over,” he added.
Nzimande also revealed that the student financial aid scheme had received over half a million applications for funding for the 2021 academic year.
“We expect this number to increase quite substantially as past experience has shown that it is in the last two weeks of the application cycle when some students tend to apply in greater numbers,” he said.
“Rough estimates suggest that there will be over 800 000 new applications for the 2021 application cycle by the closing date at end of November 2020.”
The application cycle closes at the end of November.
“KwaZulu-Natal continues to dominate with the highest number of applications as compared to other provinces, to date accounting for 157 252 (27%) applications, followed by Gauteng with 119 410 (20%) and Limpopo with 95 091 (16%). Applications from Western Cape and North Cape remains below expectations,” Nzimande added.
A new board has also been appointed, with Ernest Khosa as the new chairperson.