- In this year’s SONA, State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that he would be implementing the decision announced by former president, Jacob Zuma, last year to provide free higher education
- During SONA2018, Ramaphosa announced that the finance minister will next week provide details of how the treasury will fund the free higher education
- When Zuma made the announcement last year on the eve of the ANC’s elective conference it was perceived by many as political manoeuvring to create pressure on those electing the new ANC leadership
If president Cyril Ramaphosa is to be believed, all will be revealed next week when the Minister of Finance delivers his budget speech.
Exactly who that finance minister will be, however, is a topic which has seen much debate on twitter and other social media with Briefly.co.za learning that many have been calling for Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to be removed as soon as possible.
However, Ramaphosa’s promise that the plan of how government plans to fund the free higher education for academically deserving students hailing from families earning below a threshold of R350 000 per annum, would be explained as part of the budget speech scheduled to be delivered next week, has set the cat among the pigeons.
In Friday night’s SONA2018, Ramaphosa said his government would go ahead and implement the decision announced by 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, while not elaborating who he would be appoint as his Finance Minister.
The announcement by Zuma last year was widely perceived as a populist decision intended to give Zuma’s preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, an advantage on the eve of the election of a new ANC president.
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