The DA believes the student fee crisis can be solved by redirecting money meant for many “nice to haves” – such as the cars of the higher education minister and his deputy minister – to tertiary learning instead.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande told Parliament a week ago that he did not know where he would find the R2.7bn universities needed after an agreement that fees would not be increased in 2016.
But, according to the DA, one way would be to redirect the R1.25m meant for vehicles for Nzimande and his deputy, Mduduzi Manana. This was among a long list of suggestions from the DA on how to find the money to make up the shortfall.
In a statement, it also said it would amend the Adjustments Appropriation Bill 2015 to shift the R720m meant for the Department of International Relations and Co-operation who compensated overseas embassy staff for currency fluctuations.
It said it would also amend the National Development Bank Special Appropriations Bill 2015 to transfer R2bn from the sale of the government’s stake in Vodacom to higher education, instead of sending it to the Brics Bank as planned.
The party also went on to list several other things, which included redirecting the R11.14m meant for “guarding services rendered to defence headquarters”, and the R26.5m meant for office furniture and critical security equipment for members of VIP protection.
According to the DA, should all of the amendments be made, the allocations could fund the tuition of about 4 500 poor students via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
“The bottom line is that money for higher education can be found by re-prioritising expenditure within the existing budget,” it said. News24