Budget speech to reveal details of affording free education
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will next week reveal how South Africa will afford providing free higher education to the poor‚ President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Friday.
That is, of course, unless a cabinet reshuffle removes Gigaba from his position and the speech is delivered by someone else. Ramaphosa did not mention Gigaba by name when making the announcement.
Ramaphosa said his government would go ahead and implement the decision that was announced by former president Jacob Zuma last December – on the eve of the ANC national conference.
“Starting this year‚ free higher education and training will be available to first-year students from households with a gross combined annual income of up to R350‚000.
“The Minister of Higher Education and Training will lead the implementation of this policy‚ while the Minister of Finance will clarify all aspects of the financing of the scheme during his Budget Speech next week‚” he said.
When Zuma made the announcement last year‚ it was widely perceived as a populist decision which was meant to give Zuma's preferred candidate an advantage on the eve of the election of a new ANC president.