Adam Habib: Where would the money to fund free education come from?

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand Professor Adam Habib says the announcement made by President Jacob Zuma of free higher education for the poor is worrying because there is little clarity on how this would be implemented.

President Zuma on Saturday morning made an announcement that government will introduce fully-funded free higher education for poor and working class students.

When I had a conversation with people at Treasury they said to me that it's going to cost around R40 billion in the first year.

Adam Habib, Wits Vice-Chancellor

My big fear is that if government doesn't make that money available to the universities then the universities will begin to go into a crisis. The quality will begin to decline and we will do to higher education what we did to primary and basic education.

Adam Habib, Wits vice-Chancellor

Habib says when Wits University opens in January, it would need about R350 million to be able to run for three months, which government doesn't subsidise.

He says they have R1.6 billion that comes in annually through fees, and with government declaring education to be free, he asks if the state will be providing the funds to the university.

The question is would government make that money available? In previous years it made some money available.

Adam Habib, Wits vice-Chancellor

And if it doesn't, what do I do when I have to pay salaries?

Adam Habib, Wits vice-Chancellor

He says he would be happy if government would make available R40 billion by 2 January to fund free education.

But I have been in South Africa long enough and I understood public institutions long enough to know that's not the way government operates and to know that they sometimes make decisions and then there is no financing that flows from it.

Adam Habib, Wits vice-Chancellor

To hear more from Professor Adam Habib, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Adam Habib: Where would the money to fund free education come from?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
'Disingenuous for free education announcement to be made this morning'

'Disingenuous for free education announcement to be made this morning'

Political writer Ranjeni Munusamy says when Fees Commission report came out months ago, free ed was considered unsustainable.

Mkhize rubbishes claims of Zuma disrupting #ANC54 with free education promises

Mkhize rubbishes claims of Zuma disrupting #ANC54 with free education promises

Education Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize says the President couldn't make free education announcement before consultation with the NEC.

Learn how to code, for free! Meet WeThinkCode_’s Arlene Mulder...

Learn how to code, for free! Meet WeThinkCode_’s Arlene Mulder...

Interested in attending a free, two-year course in computer programming? Bruce Whitfield interviews the cofounder of WeThinkCode_.

Publisher saves South African students billions with free textbooks

Publisher saves South African students billions with free textbooks

This year we're going to hit a million downloads of free textbooks in SA - James van der Westhuizen, country manager for Bookboon.

West Coast rock lobster dwindling due to poaching, says fisheries prof

West Coast rock lobster dwindling due to poaching, says fisheries prof

The West Coast rock lobster is one of South Africans’ favourite festive-season foods. But could the local crayfish be in danger?

'Fees Commission Report fell far short of what students wanted'

'Fees Commission Report fell far short of what students wanted'

Economist Xhanti Payi says the Commission's recommendations do not provide the free education demanded by students.

Banks can't lend money without expecting it back: Fees Report

Banks can't lend money without expecting it back: Fees Report

Director of Banking Association of SA says they are prepared to play a role but the fees recommendations need to be sustainable.

Catalonia ex-officials freed

Catalonia ex-officials freed

The group handed themselves in to Belgian police following an EU arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Brand strategist Sylvester Chauke says there is a real need for brands to review how they do things as society twists and turns.

NSRI has freed False Bay whale entangled in ropes

NSRI has freed False Bay whale entangled in ropes

NSRI has manged to free a southern right whale entangled in ropes in Fish Hoek, False Bay.

Popular articles
Former Nedbank Chair Reuel Khoza opens up about money, farming and music

Former Nedbank Chair Reuel Khoza opens up about money, farming and music

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Khoza about his attitude and beliefs about money (plus successes and failures, etc.)

Everything you know about success is (mostly) wrong

Everything you know about success is (mostly) wrong

Allon Raiz on “Barking up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science behind Why Everything You Know about Success Is (Mostly) Wrong”.

[LISTEN] Father shares how he shot the man who raped his daughter

[LISTEN] Father shares how he shot the man who raped his daughter

Johannesburg father, Chris says he had just come back from work when he walked in on an employee raping his 17 year old daughter.

Bokke can become a world-beating squad - Ashwin Willemse

Bokke can become a world-beating squad - Ashwin Willemse

The former Springbok and current rugby commentator gives his perspective on Saturday's game against the All Blacks.

UPDATE: Chilling WhatsApp from Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend read out in court

UPDATE: Chilling WhatsApp from Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend read out in court

Marli van Breda's ex took the stand in the trial of triple murder accused Henri van Breda.

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Competition Commission investigates five companies to stamp out price-fixing

Competition Commission investigates five companies to stamp out price-fixing

Commission says investigation into food and agro processing companies is important because of high levels of inequality in SA.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?