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The tough spending decisions taken by the government loom large in education, which sees deep budget cuts to poorly performing programmes that will delay plans to expand student accommodation and improve school infrastructure. Plans to expand free school meals to more needy children have also been scaled back.

The Treasury plans to cut government’s spending by 261bn over the next three years, and education is among the biggest casualties, with a R7.1bn cut to its baseline over the medium term...

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