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NSFAS CIO Modibedi Oliphant Reveals Reasons for Departure

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NSFAS CIO Modibedi Oliphant Reveals Reasons for Departure

NSFAS CIO Modibedi Oliphant Reveals Reasons for Departure.Modibedi Oliphant, the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), has clarified the circumstances leading to his departure from the organization. Contrary to reports of suspension, Oliphant attributes his resignation to a lack of resources necessary for the successful execution of his strategic vision.

Resource Constraints and Budgetary Challenges

Oliphant points out that his resignation was a result of prolonged discussions and an inability to access the required resources, both financial and technical. Operating within an organization with a budget close to R50 billion, Oliphant lamented the absence of even a single software developer, as they had all resigned. He questioned how he could implement an ambitious strategy without essential personnel and resources.

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Pressures and Obstacles

Furthermore, Oliphant expressed frustration with internal pressures and obstacles, including bureaucratic red tape and a perceived lack of receptiveness to his ideas. These cumulative challenges eventually took a toll on him, leading to his decision to resign.

Transformational Role

Oliphant initially joined NSFAS as a consultant and officially assumed the role of CIO in March 2022. During his tenure, he described his role as “transformational” or “change” CIO, where he also held responsibilities as the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Risk Officer.

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Remaining Work for NSFAS

While departing, Oliphant expressed hope that his successor would build upon the work done during his tenure. He highlighted the importance of addressing the organization’s challenges, given its volatile operating environment, and mentioned the development of a transformational digital strategy and the restructuring of the ICT unit as some of the initiatives already implemented.

NSFAS Ongoing Challenges

NSFAS has grappled with numerous challenges over the years, including IT system failures and mismanagement. Recent issues include controversies surrounding the new direct-payment system, defunding of students, appeal response delays, unresponsive query systems, and accommodation accreditation backlogs.

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CEO Placed on Special Leave

CEO Andile Nongogo was placed on special leave amid ongoing investigations into allegations against him, prompting Werksmans Attorneys to review the entity’s procurement systems and processes.

Parliament Critique

Members of Parliament have criticized NSFAS for persistent issues related to its new direct-payment system and query system, as highlighted in a recent report.

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Oliphant Future Plans

Modibedi Oliphant plans to take some time off to recover after enduring significant challenges in his role at NSFAS. He believes that NSFAS will likely appoint an internal interim CIO before initiating a search for a permanent replacement in the near future.

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