- National Student Financial Aid Scheme beneficiaries are being defrauded of their allowances
- The situation is reportedly an inside job, with employees being apprehended for the theft
- Meanwhile, those affected are under pressure to make ends meet as the looting continues
NSFAS students have been losing their allowances to employees of the fund and other individuals.
Mail & Guardian reports that a single staff member managed to allegedly make away with R300 000 before their arrest.
Officials responsible for funding public tertiary education for poorer citizens revealed the looting during an annual report to Parliament.
Over 500 cases of alleged fraud have been opened in the Western Cape to the commercial crime unit.
A mobile wallet that allows students access to the funding has allowed criminals a shot at getting their hands on the cash meant to support the students.
The NSFAS system itself has allowed external fraudsters the opportunity to hack the portal and transfer funds to themselves.
Officials have confirmed an internal forensic investigation is underway, with payments made to individuals who aren't students raising red flags.
The mobile wallet initiative will be discontinued next year following the looting, with the ability to change information suspended in the hopes of putting a stop to the scam in the meantime.
The employees of the fund will be appearing in court next week all facing separate charges of changing the intended recipients of the money.
Briefly.co.za gathered that an employee accused of stealing over R15 000 is currently on the run, hoping to evade arrest for the crime.
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