Universities prepare for free education chaos

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South African universities are bracing themselves for a chaotic registration period due to the confusion surrounding Zuma’s free higher education plan.

According to a report in the City Press, Treasury is still trying to source the money required for the education plan, and confirmed there were no plans to source funds from the Internal Monetary Fund.

Universities SA CEO Ahmed Bawa said the association was concerned about the sustainability of the free higher education plan.

Institutions are also worried about the EFF Student Command, who have threatened to shut down campuses around the country if they do not accept walk-in registrants.

A large increase in potential students is expected due to the free higher education plan, and the EFF Student Command reportedly said it would block access to universities if walk-in applicants were not accommodated.

Bawa told the City Press that universities would redirect walk-in applicants to online registrations portals due to a shortage of space.

Intelligence agencies are reportedly working with student structures to handle any possible security threats.

Free higher education will be implemented over a five-year period, beginning with first-year students and later expanding to all university students who meet the financial criteria.

Recent reports suggested that Zuma planned to make up the required funds by cutting back departmental budgets across the government.

The plan may involve drastic budget cuts, including cutting social grants, freezing the rollout of RDP houses, and increasing taxes.