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Treasury says its strained budget cannot afford to fund free higher education

Treasury says solutions proposed by the public won’t yield the large amount of money.

FILE: An NMMU student holds up placard reading "This is about more than just fees. #ZumaMustFall. Thousands of students congregated on campus, toyi-toyiing while they waited for the Vice Chancellor. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Treasury says while it notes all the suggestions made by members of the public, on how it can effectively manage the country's finances in order to introduce free education, finding a solution isn't that easy.

Representatives made their submissions to the Commission of Inquiry into Free Higher Education in Vereeniging yesterday.

Government says its resources are currently under strain and that it can't increase spending on higher education without affecting other aspects of its budget.

Deputy Director General Michael Sachs the solutions being proposed by the public won't yield the large amount of money needed to make free education a reality.

"The truth is the size of the investment proposed is so large that it's unlikely that you would get enough money simply from improving efficiency."

Treasury says at this stage, South Africa's economy, is only able to sustain its current expenses.

It says additional large scale expenses like free higher education could result in a tax increase.

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