South Africa will introduce free tertiary education for students from homes where the combined annual income is 350,000 rand ($27,600) or less annually.
The program will be officially launched in 2018, and will take about 5 years to be fully implemented. “This is a drastic and a welcome decision that is long overdue, and provides the first step towards the envisaged free education for the poor as articulated by the Freedom Charter”.
The proposed funding model, will help cover tuition fees, study materials, meals, accommodation and transport. It will ensure sustainability of government finances and ensure improved access to education. “This approach allows government to gradually phase in fully subsidized free higher education for poor and working-class students year on year in a fiscally sustainable way.”
The plan applies to poor, working-class students at both universities and technical-vocational education and training colleges. Those who are funding their studies through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will have their loans converted to grants. President Zuma announced that there would be no tuition fee increment for students from households earning up to 600,000 rand a year during the 2018 academic
South Africa will increase subsidies to universities to 1 percent of gross domestic product from 0.7 percent now over the next five years, the presidency said.
Free education is feasible in South Africa as well as in a lot of other African nations, if we can curb the wasteful expenditure and endemic corruption.