The government should pay the full cost of study for students from households with a combined income below R200 000 a year‚ the DA has proposed.
MP Belinda Bozzoli said yesterday that the official opposition supported the government footing the bill for two-thirds of the full cost of study for students from households earning R200 000 to R350 000.
It should pay one-third of the full cost of study for students from homes with an annual income between R350 000 to R500 000.
The official opposition also proposed the creation of a special police task force to deal with rioting on campuses.
Bozzoli said the university crisis had not emerged overnight.
“An uncaring ANC government was warned by the DA over a long period that this situation would develop,” she said. “Since 1994‚ government subsidies have decreased from 50% to 40% of annual university income.”
Bozzoli accused Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande of having a “drop-and-go” attitude towards the crisis‚ and pointed out that the ANC majority on the parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education had refused to address the issue despite numerous DA requests.
Bozzoli estimated that complete fee-free education would cost an additional R60-billion a year‚ which was impossible to finance.
“The DA will continue to fight for more higher education funding and will propose measures in the medium-term budget policy statement to do so‚ as we did last year‚ when we proposed R9.5-billion of wasteful expenditure be reallocated.
“Voters should remember how the ANC voted down those proposals‚” Bozzoli said.