South Africa budges $5 billion to free tertiary education35 views
South Africa’s Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s has announced that an additional 57 billion rand ($5bn; £3.5bn) will be allocated to free university education for students from poor and working-class families.
Initially announced by former president Jacob Zuma in December – there are still concerns about whether this plan would be feasible in the long-term.
He also announced an increased Value Added Tax – up from 14% to 15% – as part of the South African budget.
Critics have said this was one of the after effects of Mr Zuma’s tenure, which was characterised by financial mismanagement and the alleged looting of state funds.
But there is some reprieve; Mr Gigaba announced some above average increases in social grants, the livelihood of 17 million South Africans.
The budget is expected to affect the wealthy negatively too. On top of last year’s so-called “wealth tax”, they will also be paying higher taxes on their estates and higher VAT on luxury goods – money the government hopes to use towards its plans to address prevailing inequalities here.