FF Plus hopes that the Heher Commission’s report finds acceptance
13 November 2017
South Africa cannot afford to offer students free tertiary education; a fact that has now been confirmed by the Heher Commission’s report. The FF Plus hopes that this message will find acceptance with President Jacob Zuma, who is apparently still planning to implement his plans for free higher education, says adv Anton Alberts, chairperson of the FF Plus.
According to adv Alberts, one also needs to take the fact that the report was compiled when South Africa was financially much better off into consideration. He says that South Africa’s financial situation is deteriorating by the day and that free tertiary education is even less feasible now.
“South Africa’s dire financial position, which is a direct result of the ANC’s mismanagement and its leaders’ plundering of the state purse, has now shut the window of opportunity for students to get free education once and for all.
“In the present circumstances, attention should rather be focused on managing the money, already being spent on the functioning of universities, much better.
“First of all, the selection process that determines which school learners get admission to university needs to be stricter and then the academic standard of schools also needs to be raised so that students have a better chance of making a success of their studies.
“Unfortunately, the opposite is happening in basic education at the moment and there are even rumours that subjects like mathematics may be phased out. With the poor foundation that is presently laid on school level, the majority of students are simply not equipped to attain success on tertiary level.
“The country just cannot afford to waste any more money on students that have no chance of passing their first year at university. Students that do not have a real chance of making a success of their university studies, will have to be referred to colleges and similar higher education institutions.
“Seen in the light of the Commission’s report, serious rumours that President Zuma wants to allocate R40 billion for free tertiary education are extremely disturbing. It is also interesting that he issued the report, which spells out that free education is simply not possible, at this point in time,” says adv Alberts.
Issued by Anton Alberts, FF Plus chairperson and parliamentary spokesperson: Higher Education, 13 November 2017