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Matthew Lester: SETAs, UIF should be raided, then #FeesMustFall

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Rhodes University tax professor Matthew Lester has focused a lot of his attention on the root cause of the #FeesMustFall campaign which sparked national protests by university students. He unpacks the numbers and explains how free tertiary education can be addressed through a little creative thinking on the over-funded UIF and greater equity on SETAs. Lester was talking to Biznews.com’s Alec Hogg.

Talking to us from Rhodes University is Tax Professor and Biznews columnist, Matthew Lester. Matthew, you’ve been getting people excited with all the stuff you’re writing on #FeesMustFall.

Yes. It’s a massive problem Alec, and it’s far past time that we dealt with this. It’s just pathetic. There are solutions. Even in Parliament, we’re not getting down to how we’re going to solve this problem. It’s becoming urgent.

Yes. These politicians are certainly making a bit of a meal of it. Malema’s done his thing. He has quite a lot of support but I suppose that when you look at it from an objective/rational perspective, there are many students who really, are struggling.

Yes. Where do you get R40k/R50k per year, excluding your living costs, to go to university? It’s preposterous. Less than 100 000 South Africans earn more than R1m/year, which would be the required earnings to get  somebody into university without hurting badly. Yet, you’re trying to get one-million people into university. It’s pathetic.

I’m sorry. R100k per month, you’re saying – not a year.

Well, there are still 100 000 South African taxpayers who earn more than R1m/year.

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