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Report: Free education for all not viable

The City Press claims to be in possession of a long-awaited report by the fees commission lead by retired judge Jonathan Heher.

FILE: #FeesMustFall demonstrators protest outside the University of Pretoria during protests over tertiary education fees in Pretoria on 10 October 2016. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Heher Commission has reportedly found that widespread free education is not viable.

The City Press claims to be in possession of a long-awaited report by the fees commission lead by retired judge Jonathan Heher.

It has instead suggested a multi-pronged and multi-layered approach.

President Jacob Zuma set the commission up in 2015 after the first nationwide student protests.

According to the paper, the report of about 750 pages states that the commission has made recommendations for an approach to be taken that will consider the country's struggling economy and competing demands on the fiscus.

The paper says the recommendations include a cost-sharing model in which government will spend a fixed 1% of the GDP to subsidise universities with students paying a fair and affordable amount.

Added to this, there will be an income contingent loan system where students will repay their debt based on their salaries after employment and a total scrapping of registration fees.

The commission has also reportedly made suggestions that the repayment system should happen through Sars and that as soon as the loan is granted a student should be registered as a taxpayer and be held accountable.

At the same time, the Presidency has confirmed that it received the report at the end of August and will now be consulting with some Cabinet ministers.

PROTESTS
Earlier this week, students protested as they called for the release of the fees commission report.

Wits University’s SRC called for a national day of action to demand free higher education and the release of the report.

Hundreds of students from University of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology marched on Parliament on Wednesday.

There have been similar protests at the University of the Free State, where violent confrontations have played out over the past week.

WATCH: Protesting UCT students disrupt exam

Additional reporting by Ilze-Marie Le Roux & Thando Kubheka.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)