Zweli Mkhize. Picture: ANC MEDIA PIX
Zweli Mkhize. Picture: ANC MEDIA PIX

ANC Treasurer-General Dr Zweli Mkhize has told students at the University of Fort Hare that "in reality" there is no such thing as "free education".

Mkhize was speaking on Wednesday at an event organised by the Young Communist League on "Progressive Black Academics" at the university’s East London campus.

He faced off with student‚ socialist and communist radicals, who complained about the shortcomings of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) and called for free education.

Mkhize‚ a former student activist himself when he was at the University of Natal (now the University of KzaZulu-Natal)‚ said young people needed to differentiate between idealism and realism in their calls for free education.

He defended Nsfas‚ saying it was the ANC government’s attempt to assist the underprivileged and that the aid scheme could not pay for everyone due to the limited financial resources at its disposal.

At a time when the financial aid scheme is under fire from beneficiaries over issues such as the nonpayment of meal and textbook allowances‚ Mkhize blamed corruption.

He said Nsfas was bombarded with more applications than it could handle‚ including from candidates whose parents could afford to pay their own way.

More in the Daily Dispatch.

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