An exclusive report by Times Live this morning revealed that President Jacob Zuma plans to announce a plan to introduce free tertiary education across the board. Citing government insiders, Times Live said the funding plan “could see the cutting back of departmental budgets across government to make R40 billion available for the 2018 academic year”.
Angry students marched to parliament two weeks ago to demand the release of the Heher Commission report, which investigated the feasibility of universal free tertiary education in South Africa. Earlier leaks indicated that the report found free education not to be feasible.
The plan has allegedly been devised by Zuma’s future son in law, Morris Masutha. Masutha is engaged to be married to Thuthukile Zuma‚ the president’s youngest daughter from his marriage to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Dlamini-Zuma is widely regarded as the president’s preferred choice of successor in the upcoming ANC elective conference next month.
The run up to the conference has seen fierce manoeuvring among the ANC’s factions, with a recent spate of media leaks emerging in recent weeks. It remains to be seen if we will really be told that fees will fall for students or whether students are just being played in a political game of smoke and mirrors.