Higher Education & Training Minister Blade Nzimande has appointed a forensic company to conduct a full-scale investigation into the financial affairs of the National Skills Fund (NSF), reports DispatchLIVE.

Just under R5bn could not be ‘properly accounted for over two financial years’, he said while tabling his 2022/2023 budget in Parliament yesterday.

Despite this, Nzimande said the fund would support scholarships and bursaries in 2022/2023 by providing R866m.

Last year, Nzimande came under fire by Parliament's Scopa for hiring private forensic investigators to conduct a probe instead of using the SIU.

Nzimande said the plan was to forward the findings by the private investigation to the unit which is empowered to take the matter further.

The department’s budget for the 2022/2023 financial year is R130.1bn, with an annual average increase of 7%.

Nzimande has appointed a Ministerial Task Team to conduct a strategic review of the NSF.

The team will hand over a final report by June.

Full DispatchLIVE report