Ministers must explain free higher education plans - Belinda Bozzoli

DA MP calls for parliamentary committee to convene for briefings on matter

DA to call for urgent Higher Education Portfolio Committee meeting to address looming higher education crisis

The DA will today write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Ms Cornelia September, to request that the Committee urgently reconvene to be briefed by the Ministers of Higher Education and Training, Finance and Police on the plans to address the impending higher education funding crisis.

It is vital that we get answers about how much the scheme will cost in this and future years, where exactly the money to fund it will come from, what plans are in place to ensure the safety of students and prospective students on campuses across the country and exactly how many tertiary education places are available and where.

President Jacob Zuma’s announcement last month that free tertiary education would be provided by the government was clearly a political stunt which has placed the futures and safety of students and the tertiary education sector at risk.

The announcement, which contradicted the findings of the Fees Commission, was reckless and has produced a crisis of the ANC’s own making. It is also high time that the President of the ANC and Deputy President of our country, Cyril Ramaphosa, puts on record how he thinks the ANC will find the money for the promises made by Jacob Zuma to thousands of young people.

In the absence of clear and detailed plans to address the funding for poor and middle-class students, the public will conclude that the ANC and the Government are playing political games with the hopes and dreams of our most precious asset - the youth of South Africa.

Statement issued by Belinda Bozzoli MP, DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education and Training, 8 January 2018