UDM wants urgent explanation of free higher education

2018-01-02 13:45
Academics protest on the steps of Wits University. (Picture: Leon Sadiki)

Academics protest on the steps of Wits University. (Picture: Leon Sadiki)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The UDM wants President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet to urgently spell out his plan for free higher education to avoid a "commotion" at registration.

"One can argue that President Zuma’s announcement of free tertiary education for students who can’t afford it, is a populist Hail Mary pass; but the United Democratic Movement (UDM) believes there is merit in the idea," the party's leader, Bantu Holomisa, said in a statement on Tuesday.

On the eve of the ANC national elective conference at Nasrec last month, Zuma announced that free higher education would be made available to students from households where there is a combined annual income of R350 000.

According to Holomisa, the implementation of such an expanded programme could be justified economically, with free education being a "strategic economic impetus".

He added that it was an investment by the state in the creation of a larger tax base.

"We have to keep in mind that three years of tertiary investment leads to forty years of tax revenue from graduate incomes," he said.

Read: The money has to come from somewhere - Heher on Zuma fees annoucement

He warned, however, that the challenge would be fair and orderly implantation.

"It should not be assumptive and aggressive for incitement in pursuit of political positioning. It is therefore a little unsettling that the president had apparently taken everyone off guard with the announcement and he seemingly did not consult universities," he said.

'University capacity must be respected'

"University capacity, which is limited, must be respected in service of effective and efficient education for the greater good."

"President Zuma and his Cabinet must urgently spell out this plan in detail to avoid a commotion at registration; already universities have issued statements saying they will not accept walk-in registration.

Read: SA universities will not accept 'walk-in' applications

"We certainly do not want to see another situation where police resources are stretched to handle disgruntled students should this promise not materialise."

After Zuma's announcement, which did not include details on where the money would come from, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said the details would be revealed when he tables the budget, which should be in February.

"Surely the president must realise that it will be too late to wait for the finance minister to spell out where the money will come from in February," Holomisa said.

"To compound matters, university capacity must be respected in service of effective and efficient education for the greater good."

Last week, EFF leader Julius Malema said former matriculants who passed well and who would like to further their education must report to the academic institution of their choice in 2018.

Read: Malema calls on former matrics to report to academic institutions in 2018

Furthermore, the UDM wants students' progress to be monitored and managed, once free education is implemented, similar to the manner in which investments are managed.

"Unsuccessful students must be removed from the programme. This litmus test should be due every semester," said Holomisa.


Read more on:    udm  |  bantu holomisa  |  matric 2017  |  education  |  university fees

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.