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The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande has written to the University of South Africa (UNISA) Council Chairperson, James Maboa, on the 4th August 2023, of his intention to appoint an administrator to UNISA.
Minister Nzimande intends to exercise his powers in terms of Section 49B of the Higher Education Act, 101 of 1997, which empowers him to appoint and administrator. In terms of Section 49E of the Higher Education Act, the Council of UNISA will be dissolved upon the appointment of an administrator.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education said Minister Nzimande’s decision follows reports by an Independent Assessor, Professor Themba Mosia and the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) on UNISA, Chaired by Dr Vincent Maphai.
“Minister Nzimande is satisfied that the Independent Assessor’s report reveals financial and other maladministration of a serious nature which affects the effective functioning of UNISA.The Report reveals that the appointment of an administrator is in the best interest of UNISA and of higher education in an open and democratic society”.
It further said the Ministerial Task Team (MTT), conducted an Independent Review of UNISA’s ‘mission drift’ – which had massive implications for the financial sustainability and future of UNISA. The MTT also made rigorous assessment of how the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its associative disruptions and shifts will affect many aspects of the academic mission, academic programmes, markets and operating model of UNISA.
The Minister has afforded the UNISA Council an opportunity to make written representations to him within 7 days of the receipt of his letter.