A plan to finance university shortfalls will be announced on Thursday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has told Parliament.
This came after President Jacob Zuma’s announcement on Friday that there would be a 0% increase in university fees for 2016.
The announcement followed days of protests by students who did not want any increase in university fees for next year and who demanded an end to outsourcing at higher education institutions.
Speaking at a transformation in higher education debate, Nzimande said his department was working on finding the funds.
“From our side, we have identified sources of funds that can be reprioritised, obviously at a cost to our other planned programmes. The wealthier universities have committed to make a contribution.”
He said, in the long term, it was estimated that an additional R19.7bn per annum would be required for university subsidies. This excluded the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
“In the last week, many different funding models have been touted, including greater contributions from the private sector: a wealth tax, a graduate tax, an increase in the skills levy, prescribed assets and others.
“Some of these we have explored in the past, others are somewhat new. We are open to exploring all possibilities that have a transformational impact.”
Responding to calls from the opposition that there had been a lack of leadership in the past two weeks, Nzimande said the parties were not debating, but grandstanding in Parliament.
Higher Education Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana told MPs that they had listened to the cries of the students and government was working on solutions.
Thulani Gqirana, News24
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