Students will never be satisfied - Freedom Front Plus

2016-10-26 22:05
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan (Netwerk24)

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan succeeded in addressing the funding model for higher education in his medium term budget speech, the Freedom Front Plus said on Wednesday.

"We cannot pay for everything and it [education] cannot be free. The students will not be satisfied because they want it all immediately," said Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Mulder.

"To be honest with them – help the poor, we cannot help everybody," Mulder said.

In his medium term budget policy statement, Gordhan said an extra R17.6bn is needed over the medium term to fund South Africa's higher education system.

Government will draw from the contingency reserve to make funds available from existing budgets.

A portion of the resources to support university students will be found elsewhere from within the post-school education system.

Additional funding for Nsfas

University subsidies will grow at an annual average rate of 10.9% over the next three years, while allocations to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) will be increased at 18.5% providing support to under-funded university students.

In the 2016 budget R5.6bn was added to university subsidies to fund the shortfall caused by there not being an increase in fees for the 2016 academic year, Gordhan said.

In the same budget Nsfas received additional funding of R10.6bn over the 2016 medium-term expenditure framework period.

Of this amount, R2.5bn was allocated in the current year for short-term debt relief for 71 753 unfunded or inadequately funded students who were at universities in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 academic years.

The remaining R8bn was for unfunded new and continuing students for the 2016 academic year and beyond.

In the 2017 medium-expenditure framework, government will fund the increase in fees at higher education institutions for the 2017 academic year, up to a maximum of 8% for students from households earning up to R600 000 per year, Gordhan said, while top-ups will also be made to the Nsfas.

Stampede

Fees Must Fall protests spread from Parliament to the streets of the Cape Town CBD on Wednesday after police and students clashed.

Earlier, stun grenades were fired by police to disperse student protesters outside Parliament while Gordhan delivered his mini budget speech.

This after a makeshift coffin was set alight and thrown over the heads of police officers. A police officer extinguished the "coffin".

A stampede ensued and stones were flung. A water cannon was used at the Plein Street entrance to Parliament.

A few people were also treated for heat exhaustion.

Gordhan made a surprise appearance before his 13:30 mid-term budget speech, much to the students' surprise.

He signed the students' memorandum, but then had to rush off for his 14:00 speech.

A student leader with a portable loud speaker called him a "coward" as he left, and demanded that Nzimande meet them.

Read more on:    freedom front plus  |  nsfas  |  pravin gor­dhan  |  mini budget  |  university fees  |  university protests

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