Zuma to announce free education through controversial funding

President Jacob Zuma is reportedly planning to make an announcement that will introduce free education across the board through a controversial funding plan.

According to reports,  the president plans to defy all recommendations and findings that South Africa cannot afford, to cover the cost of free education.

The announcement goes against the Heher Commission, which found that universal free tertiary education was not feasible in South Africa.

Information reveals that Zuma plans to make up the shortfall by cutting back departmental budgets across government amounting to R40-billion to make provisions for the 2018 academic year.

Since budgets are allocated according to programmes, if the plan proceeds it is likely to cause chaos within the state system.

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This move will also undermine Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba’s statements when he presented the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement last month.

Gigaba indicated a funding shortfall of more than R61 billion over the next three years, if government were to finance the full cost of study for 40 per cent of undergraduates.

The announcement, which is expected within the week, could be seen as a major boon for Zuma’s faction in the upcoming ANC December conference.

However, it has also raised concerns as to how the decision will affect the market, with some analyst predicting it could be the move that officially leads South Africa to junk status.

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Newcastle Advertiser

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