Free education threshold problem
I DON’T think anyone with any sense would argue that free education was an absolute must for any country, especially one like South Africa.
For that reason, President Jacob Zuma’s decision to introduce this should be welcomed.
The problem, in my view, lies in the fact that only families with a combined income of R350 000 or less will qualify. Surely this is incredibly unfair to the family that earns
R351 000 a year?
Just because they earn R1 000 above the threshold, they have to fork out tens of thousands of rand to pay for food, accommodation, books and so on for their offspring who aspire to study and achieve a better life.
Surely there are ways to introduce this system more fairly – by, for instance, staggering the subsidies in accordance with the income of the families that are affected.
Assuming that the figure of
R350 000 will probably be fixed for a number of years, many families who will benefit from this subsidy this year will no longer benefit from it in the years to come because of pay rises.
It would be interesting to know how many people will ask their employers to cut their salaries so that they can fall within the limits.
Another question would be: who is going to pay for all of this?