PRETORIA – In order to help poor students attend higher education South Africa needs to tax the wealthy.
In an address to parliament on October 27th the Minister of Higher Education and Training of South Africa suggested that the government should introduce higher taxes to be paid by wealthy individuals in order to fund universities.
The Minister claimed that overall South Africa has enough wealth to fund free higher education for poor students, however, much of the funds are locked up in the private sector, outside of the government’s control.
He went on to say that “…my own considered view is that government must have the political will to tax the rich and the wealthy to fund higher education. None of us must develop cold feet about the necessity of taxing the rich to fund our children.” The Minister’s words come as the budget for higher education tightens, as the government aims to bring more people into educational institutions while also reigning in educational fees.
He specifically noted that since 2005 the government has increased funding to universities by 30 percent, however, in that same time student numbers have doubled.