Diplomatic Channel

Finance Minister to Discuss Higher Education Funding

South Africa’s Finance Minister is expected to clarify all aspects of financing free higher education during the Budget Speech next week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Friday.

It follows the historic announcement by former President Jacob Zuma on 16 December last year that government would phase in fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans.

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.

“In addition to promoting social justice, an investment of this scale in higher education is expected to contribute to greater economic growth, reduce poverty, reduce inequality, enhance earnings and increase the competitiveness of our economy,” President Ramaphosa said.