SOUTH AFRICA’S ANC, DA IN RARE AGREEMENT OVER INCREASED FUNDING FOR EDUCATION

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and its main political opponent, the Democratic Alliance (DA), are in rare agreement in welcoming Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s announcement this week of an increase in funding for higher education.

Gordhan announced in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement to Parliament on Wednesday that an additional 9.0 billion Rand (one US dollar = about 13.85 Rand) would be added to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme over the next three years, rising its funding by more than 18 per cent a year.

The increase in funding is in response to the on-going student protests seen at universities across the nation to press their call for free higher education.

“We’re very happy about the fact that top of mind in the budget has been the higher education issue and that the minister and the team have responded very well to what we believe was the biggest issue that we were facing in the last couple of months,” said ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte Thursday.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said tertiary education funding for poor students must be given priority. He added that universities should be allowed to continue to operate and condemned the destruction which has accompanied the student protests.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.