University education can never be free‚ says SA’s statistician-general

South Africa must not deceive itself with the idea of free higher education and should focus on finding a workable model‚ statistician-general Pali Lehohla says.

“There can never be free education … Let us not deceive ourselves. Everything (has) costs‚” Lehohla said in Parliament after briefing MPs on the 2015 financial statistics of higher education institutions.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced in September that university fee increases for 2017 would be capped at 8%‚ and poor and “missing middle” students would receive state help to make up for the hike.

This sparked a wave of protests and renewed calls for fees to be scrapped‚ reports Business Day.

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