A company that was registered nine days before bids for a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) tender closed, and run by a full-time nurse and an employee at a beverage business, is among 39 firms appointed to run a new student accommodation programme.

Laphumi Langa Projects was registered on 27 July last year, three weeks after the accommodation accreditation tender was advertised on 5 July.

Bids closed a month later and the contracts were awarded in January.

The Sunday Times reports that the tender requirements specified that a service provider must have experience in the inspection of properties, and include an occupational health and safety official, a building inspector, an engineer and an electrician.

The NSFAS bid document said the system was being changed because it was ‘fraught with inconsistencies and susceptible to fraud’ while some institutions ‘do not have the capacity for this accreditation process’.

Other successful bidders included a debt collection company, one whose director is a television producer, another that owns student accommodation in Pretoria, and a company of which controversial former Prasa administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo is a director.

Companies accrediting university-owned hostels as well as privately-owned flats and homes that have one to 20 beds will receive R160 for each bed they accredit and R80 per bed if they accredit more than 100 beds.

Full Sunday Times report