Johannesburg: President Jacob Zuma has announced that government will introduce fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South African undergraduate students, starting in 2018 with students in their first year of study at public universities.

“This policy intervention will enable government to extend fully subsidised free higher education to youth from well over 90% of South African households.

“From 2018 onwards, eligible South African children of the unemployed, social grant recipients, South Africans earning below the minimum wage, domestic workers, farm workers, mine workers and entry level civil servants such as teachers, nurses, policemen, municipal workers, security guards, refuse collectors and informal traders, amongst others, will now access public universities and TVET colleges for free through grants provided by government,” said President Zuma in a statement issued on Saturday.

The President also announced that there will be no tuition fee increment for students from households earning up to R600 000 a year during the 2018 academic year.

The definition of poor and working class students will now refer to “currently enrolled Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges or university students from South African households with a combined annual income of up to R350 000” by the 2018 academic year.

“The Minister of Higher Education and Training shall revise this quantum periodically in consultation with the Minister of Finance,” said President Zuma.

The subsidised full cost of study will include tuition fees, prescribed study material, meals, accommodation and/or transport. –

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