On the 16th December 2017, President Jacob Zuma announced that the South African Government will subsidize free higher education for poor and working-class students.
He said in a statement the previous Saturday that the definition of poor and working-class students will now refer to “currently enrolled TVET Colleges or university students from South African households with a combined annual income of up to R350 000” by the 2018 academic year.
Many people have criticized this, by calling it a move to gain political advantage; Some have also said that it is a victory for the #Feesmustfall movement. The question is that, do South African know what they want or not.
Another concern is that whether Treasury has the budget to fund this project. Then there’s also the question of why free education is not being more widely rolled out for primary and secondary education students
This announcement has certainly sparked a lot of debate within the country.
The CEO of Universities South Africa Professor Ahmed Bawa said in an interview universities’ major concern was that free education for students of working-class families was not a sustainable model. He said universities were worried about government needing to reverse the model in three years’ time.