"The funds can be found without big cuts to other programmes," says Neva Makgetla in the article "Funding can be found to implement free-education plan" (January 16). While she does recognise that our country has a zero-sum situation and political populism "usually ends in tears", Makgetla ignores two important facts that must play a role in deciding expenditure priorities. The first is the tertiary-level drop-out rate which constitutes a significant waste and inflationary factor. The second is that while she states "it’s hard to overstate how much a degree counts", she seems unaware that even graduates are finding the economy so depressed that the supply of jobs cannot meet the demand. Wasting taxpayers’ money on the education of drop-outs when the economy cannot employ even the successful suggests that economic progress needs to come before shotgun education policies. Her deprecation of the Treasury control over the budget reveals an irresponsible or  ignorant attitude often displ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now