President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of free higher education a few weeks ago was opportunistic and part of a ploy to win votes for his preferred candidate for the ANC presidency, the South African Communist Party (SACP) said on Wednesday. In its year-end message, the SACP demanded to know where the money to fund free higher education will come from. Zuma announced on December 16 that the government will introduce fully subsidised, free higher education and training for poor and working-class undergraduate students. This will start in 2018 for first-year students at public universities and be phased in over five years. Zuma’s announcement coincided with the first day of the ANC’s national conference in Johannesburg, at which Cyril Ramaphosa was elected the new ANC president.

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