Hours before Pravin Gordhan delivered his 2017 budget speech, dozens of unemployed graduates staged Hire-A-Graduate demonstrations in the rural town of Alice in the Eastern Cape, to draw attention to the lack of job opportunities after leaving university. Yet as these unemployed graduates alerted us to the struggle to secure jobs after graduation, the pressures for universities to take on more students continues to be felt as a result of the 2015 and 2016 fees protests. What these two realities tell us is that SA faces a dual problem where its system of education and training is concerned: we may be facing diminishing capacity to absorb certain kinds of graduates into the labour market, even as the fiscus faces rising cost pressures to provide more education access to current and future students. This poses a terrible conundrum for Gordhan. He needs to fund the tertiary system so that it can produce more taxpayers, but with overall economic growth over the next years projected at 1....

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