16 December 2017

South Africa: President Zuma Announces Free Higher Education for Poor Students

analysis

With the attention of the country firmly fixed on the ANC's elective conference, President Jacob Zuma took the opportunity on Saturday morning to finally release his response to the Fees Report. Despite speculation that Zuma wanted to see free university education pushed through as policy before his term of office ended, the President stopped short of announcing such a move. But free higher education will become a reality for poor students, who will now receive full grants for study as of 2018. The question of where this money will come from is as yet unanswered. By REBECCA DAVIS.

Just over three months after President Jacob Zuma received the Heher Commission report on higher education funding, the Presidency has at last released his decision on the vexed issue of student fees.

The timing is interesting: Zuma chose to respond to students on a weekend when the issue is almost certain to be buried by events at the ANC's elective conference at Nasrec.

President Zuma has not taken up the Heher Commission's proposal that university education be funded across the board via an Income Contingent Loan system backed by government.

However, poor students who are academically capable will receive free education at...

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