Education depts given lion's share of government budget

The Finance Minister has announced that together the two Education Departments will receive R320 billion, most of it for basic education.

FILE: Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PARLIAMENT - Education will again receive the lion’s share of this year’s government budget, after debt servicing costs.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced that together, the two Education Departments will receive R320 billion, most of it for basic education.

He’s also pledged that all poor students who have applied and qualified for awards from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will be supported if they’ve earned a place at a university or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college.

About 17.5% of the national budget over the medium term is allocated to basic education.

This includes a 12.5% increase in allocations for new school buildings and an increase in learning and teaching support materials over the next three years.

Gordhan has also announced an additional R5 billion to be spent on higher education, allocations over the next three years, bringing the total amount over this period to R37 billion.

Students from families with a combined income of R600 000 per year, will be exempt from fee increases at universities and TVET colleges this year.

The NSFAS will receive R15.3 billion this year to make awards.

The Heher-led Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training is expected to complete its work by June.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)