UCT students concerned about Zuma’s silence on higher education funding

President Zuma and the Department of Higher Education have yet to reveal how they will subsidise poor and working class students in 2018.

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CAPE TOWN - University of Cape Town students say they are concerned about President Jacob Zuma's silence about his government's education plan as the new academic year fast approaches.

In less than six weeks, universities across the country are expected to welcome new and existing students.

Zuma and the Department of Higher Education have yet to reveal how they will subsidise poor and working class students in 2018.

UCT student representative, Karabo Khakhau says: “Are we now supposed to pause our academic career to wait until the money is there to wait for that report?

“What happens to students who register thinking that they can be able to afford fees only to find out that there’s no money to finance their studies.”

The government has yet to reveal how fee-free higher education will be funded.

UCT professor, Corne van Walbeek, suspects that a tax increase will be announced in the new year when the Finance Minister tables his budget.

“I’ll not be surprised if there’s in fact quite a substantial increase in tax both on tobacco and alcohol, and then of course one that’s coming is the sugar tax.”