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Rand loses over 1% against dollar over concerns about free education

The rand has extended losses, with traders saying the local currency has been reacting to reports that President Jacob Zuma is looking at ways to introduce free tertiary education.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The rand has lost more than 1% against the dollar, with traders saying there are concerns about the government looking to relocate funds for free education.

The Mail and Guardian reported on Friday morning that it had been informed by officials that government was considering cutting spending in certain areas.

Around 2pm the rand was at 14,36 to the dollar, 18,96 to the pound and 16,73 to the euro.

The rand has extended losses, with traders saying the local currency has been reacting to reports that President Jacob Zuma is looking at ways to introduce free tertiary education.

They say this will put added pressure on public finances.

Traders were quoted by Reuters as saying there is general concern over higher education spending.

The Mail and Guardian reported that social grants, the defence budget, RDP projects and even tax increases are some of the areas under consideration.

President Zuma is yet to release the final report and recommendations on higher education fees.

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