The story in the Sunday Times newspaper reporting that President Jacob Zuma was planning to announce free education in the State of the Nation Address in February this year and was stopped by the National Treasury is a fabrication.
The President never planned to make such an announcement. The thrust of SONA2017 was radical economic transformation flowing from the governing party the ANC’s January 8 statement and the Cabinet and governing party makgotla.
The President had appointed a commission of inquiry into higher education funding headed by Judge John Heher. The President waited for the Commission to conclude its business. At no stage did he plan to make any announcements that would undermine the work of the Commission.
The President has tasked the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Higher Education Funding headed by Minister Jeff Radebe and the Presidential Fiscal Committee to process the Heher Commission report and advise him on how to respond to the content thereof.
Any action going forward will result from careful consideration by relevant structures in government.
Issued by the Presidency