The Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance said South Africa has the money to fund education for the poor.
Mmusi Maimane made the remarks outside the Parliamentary Precinct during a DA march for more fund to be provided for SA universities.
Maimane remarked that more money for Zuma means no money for students. To him, the money to fund the tertiary institutions is there if the ANC is serious about solving the funding crisis.
“…They can double our government subsidy of universities to bring them in line with other countries,” he said. “The money is there if you’re prepared to go looking for it.
“It’s there in the endless bailouts we give to SAA. It’s there in the extravagant government perks like blue light brigades and new presidential jets. Earlier this year the DA found R2.7bn in our current budget that could be immediately reallocated to university funding. There is money to be found in our budget,” he stressed.
The DA leader urged South Africans to avoid listening to the voices arguing that there is no money available to fund SA universities.
“These are not the people we should be listening to. These are the people who must sit down and let others find a way. Because there is a way, if we are committed to a peaceful solution,” he said.
Maimane pointed out that only the state can afford to fund quality higher education.
“The ball is in the government’s court, and it has been there all along. No one expects Jacob Zuma to step in. Our expectations of him are so low that people don’t even mention him anymore.
“Most of us have also written off Minister Blade Nzimande. Since the Fees Must Fall crisis began, he has done nothing but duck and dive and pass the buck to anyone he could find,” added the DA leader.
He wailed that watching SA campuses burn is one of the hardest things the country had to deal with.
“These universities are what stand between hope and despair for millions of young South Africans. These universities are what will ensure our country’s future. They must produce tomorrow’s engineers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, academics and leaders. (They) are a precious resource. We should cherish and protect them. Instead we are watching them burn,” counseled Maimane
With that, he proclaimed that the government can properly fund the NSFAS system and ensure that the missing middle is found.