Cabinet has approved the release of the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee into the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The committee was appointed in May 2020 to look into the business processes, systems and capacity of the NSFAS to deliver on its mandate, acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said on Thursday.
“The investigation focused on the root causes of the problems experienced by NSFAS and the implementation of the new bursary scheme since 2018. The enquiry provided valuable recommendations towards improving the operations of NSFAS.
“Cabinet appreciated that some of these recommendations have already been implemented,” she said at a media briefing.
The report can be accessed through the Department of Higher Education and Training website on www.dhet.gov.za.
National Infrastructure Plan 2050
Meanwhile, Cabinet also approved the publication of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) 2050 for public comment.
The plan details the country’s infrastructure investment drive, which also integrates African economies through some of its regional projects.
In addition to driving economic growth, Ntshavheni said the NIP would also address the legacy of apartheid spatial injustices.
“It is anchored on the participation of government, business, State-owned entities and civil society.
“Its priority sectors include energy, freight transport, water and digital communication.
“The NIP 2050 will soon be gazetted for public consultation,” the Minister said.
Consolidating support for business
Ntshavheni said Cabinet also approved the incorporation of the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and Cooperative Banks Development Agency (CBDA) into the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA).
The merger of these entities will enable an integrated government support to small, micro and medium enterprises, as well as cooperatives with effect from 1 April 2022.
“A proposed single agency will provide both financial and non-financial support to these businesses. By pooling all the resources together, the agency will be more impactful and accessible in all the districts and metros,” Ntshavheni said.
The approved incorporation will result in the reclassification of SEDA (which will be renamed later) in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999) from a Schedule 3A to a Schedule 2 entity.
Cabinet approved the extension of the Board of SEFA to 31 March 2022 to enable the alignment to the commencement of the transitional arrangement.
Source: South African Government News Agency