Gigaba invites ideas on paying for free tertiary education

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

As Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba prepares to deliver his maiden Budget Speech on February 21‚ he is looking for ideas from the public on how to find the money to enact President Jacob Zuma's unexpected announcement of free tertiary education for the poor.

Zuma promised in December that government would introduce fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working-class undergraduate students‚ starting in 2018 for first-year students at public universities - to be phased in over five years. Questions about financing this pledge began to be asked immediately and it is Gigaba who needs to answer them.

The Ministry of Finance on Monday said Gigaba would be delivering the Budget "amid subdued economic growth and a challenging fiscal situation".

"It is in this context that the Minister encourages South Africans to share their views about the country’s economic conditions and other issues they would like government to highlight in the Budget."

The Minister highlighted 4 issues he would like to hear the public's views on:

- Funding of free education for students in tertiary institutions;

- How South Africa can achieve inclusive economic growth;

- How South Africa can use its resources to ensure efficiencies; and

- How the government‚ civil society‚ unions and business can work together for the purpose of achieving South Africa’s economic objectives.

Contributions can be sent via Twitter with the hashtag #BudgetTips2018.

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