South African senior treasury official Michael Sachs has resigned following Zuma’s plan to go ahead with the push for free university education policy.
The treasury chief reportedly tendered his resignation letter on Monday after it was alleged that the Presidency tried to interfere in the budget processes through the free university education policy for poorer South Africans.
TimesLIVE which confirmed Sachs’ resignation on Monday, reported that President Zuma had ordered officials to implement massive budget cuts in order to fund the scheme‚ despite opposition from Treasury.
The said plan for free education policy was expected to cost the country R40 billion which the treasury officials, including Michael Sachs, saw as a major blow to the nation’s financial budget.
This move by Zuma has also been condemned by economic experts and even his party, the ANC who see it as another move taking the SA economy down the drain with the country being forced to cough out R40 billion to cover the cost.
The said free tertiary education plan was allegedly drawn up by Morris Masutha‚ an ex-boyfriend of Thutukile Zuma‚ the president’s daughter with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“Given that there’s a R50 billion tax hole this country needs to fill, it’s simply money we don’t have”
“The president’s statement on the issue has only clarified that he did not want — as alleged in the Sunday media — to make the announcement during his State of the Nation Address, and adds nothing on his current thinking or planned actions.”
This has now pushed Michael Sachs out of his role as the head of the budget for the treasury. Sources speaking to Fin24 confirmed that he issued his resignation last week. Although there are speculations that Sachs was quitting because of political interference, rather than the policy itself.
The rand is also said to be affected by the new enforcement as it plummeted on Monday to R14.39 per US dollar. This means it increased by 50 cents.
“The president’s statement on the issue has only clarified that he did not want — as alleged in the Sunday media — to make the announcement during his State of the Nation Address, and adds nothing on his current thinking or planned actions” said Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns who also accused the president’s plans of having very little weight behind them.