Treasury working hard to find money to fund no fee increase

Head of the Treasury budget office Michael Sachs says National Treasury is working with all relevant departments to find money to accommodate the announcement made by Minister of Higher Education.

Sachs says when the budget was done earlier this year, they did not take into account that there might be a no fee increase for more than 75% of university students for which government now has to foot the bill.

Government...and I think everyone, is committed that there should be increased access to university education and that poor and working class should not pay for that access. That is going to cost a lot of money. It is not possible to raise funds from within the current fiscal allocations.

Michael Sachs, head of the Treasury budget office

Sachs says free education has to be mobilised through South Africa's own domestic resources.

You have to then talk about tax increases to fund those additional amounts because it would not make sense to fund something like that by borrowing.

Michael Sachs, head of the Treasury budget office

Listen to the full interview below...

Minister recommended that universities and colleges increase fees by no more than 8% in 2017.

Nzimande said the government would subsidise any increase for students with National Student Financial AidScheme (NSFAS) loans and for students in the "missing middle".

He explained the "missing middle" as those whose family income was less than R600 000 a year.

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