Higher education minister Naledi Pandor has “sadly" accepted the resignation of respected former banking executive Sizwe Nxasana as board chairman of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), her spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said on Friday.
Nxasana announced his resignation on Thursday, amidst increasing calls for him to step down from the post he had held for three years.
Pandor accepted Nxasana's decision following a meeting with him on Wednesday, Ngqengelele said.
"She was most grateful for the excellent leadership Mr Nxasana provided to Nsfas and sincerely thanks him for his contribution,” Ngqengelele added.
“The minister intends calling a special board meeting as soon as it possible, to discuss the way forward.”
Earlier this week, the South African Union of Students (Saus) said Nxasana had failed to turn around the fortunes of the institution.
Saus is campaigning for the dissolution of the current NSFAS board under Nxasana over a string of problems which have seen thousands of students not receive their financial support from as far back as 2016.
Nxasana said the NSFAS payments system had come under extreme strain after then-president Jacob Zuma announced last December that students from poor families would receive free higher education.