OPENING REMARKS BY THE MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND INNOVATION, DR BLADE NZIMANDE ON THE OCCASION OF THE NSFAS BOARD INDUCTION
To the new Board members, thank you very much for accepting the nominations to serve NSFAS and the entire PSET sector.
NSFAS is a source of pride of our government and the nation at large with a mandate to effectively and efficiently administer our fully subsidized bursary for youth from poor and working-class backgrounds. 2021 will mark our government’s fourth year of implementing the five-year plan of phasing in the new DHET bursary scheme, through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Right now, the whole world and our country is rightly seized with the struggle to combat the pernicious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our entire PSE sector and National System of Innovation (NSI) are directly affected by its effects and have been in the forefront of the struggle to find a vaccine and other interventions in response to this pandemic. This includes observing the national guidelines and our sector health and safety protocols. COVID 19 has dominated our minds and hearts for almost the entire year. And 2020 and now by extension 2021 has certainly been an unprecedented challenge for the leadership and management of our PSET and NSI system. But the COVID-19 crisis is also connected to a wider set of crises; of social inequality, of climate change, of technological disruption, and linked to all of the above: a crisis of the global capitalist system. What is clear to me is that the unequal ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is manifesting itself, together with climate and technological changes, are all deeply connected to the nature of this system. In fact, we cannot speak of a sustainable, let alone equal society, unless and until we fundamentally change the nature of the global economic and social order.
Your term as a new Board came into office with effect from 1 January 2021.
The Board members are as follows: Mr Ernest Khosa (chairperson);
Ms Pretty Makukule (DHET representative);
Mr Maxwell Fuzani;
Prof Pumela Msweli;
Mr Cyril Madiba;
Mr Yonke Twani;
Ms Jullie Beya;
Mr Sanele Zondi;
Mr Richard Msweli;
Ms Lindiwe Matlali;
Mr Bamanye Matiwane;
Ms Reshma Mathura; and
To strengthen the Board and to bring other important skills, I have engaged the
Chairperson to co-opt additional members to the Board. To this extend Mr Melosi
Baloyi and Ms Lisa Seftel were identified for this purpose.