President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to phasing in fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working-class students starting in 2018. Ramaphosa said in his state of the nation address (Sona) on Friday evening that the higher education and training minister would lead the implementation of the policy, while the finance minister would clarify all aspects of the financing of the scheme during his budget speech on Wednesday. “In addition to promoting social justice, an investment of this scale in higher education is expected to contribute to greater economic growth, reduce poverty, reduce inequality, enhance earnings and increase the competitiveness of our economy. “Government will continue to invest in expanding access to quality basic education and improving the outcomes of our public schools,” Ramaphosa said. In a surprise move in December, former president Jacob Zuma effectively overruled the Heher Commission report into the feasibility of free higher educa...

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