Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan has allocated a budget of R204 billion for basic education and R5.7 billion for higher education in the 2016/17 financial year.

Gordhan highlighted this during the annual National Budget Speech in parliament today, although he didn’t go into as much detail as former minister Nhlanhla Nene did in his mid-term speech last year.

The minister noted that the higher education budget will address the university funding shortfall as a result of President Jacob Zuma’s announcement last year that university fees will not be increased this year across the state’s 26 institutions.

Gordhan also announced that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) gets R2.5 billion to clear all student debt owed to it and a further R8 billion over the medium term to enable current students to complete their studies.

The basic education budget will increase by R50 million in the next three years to R254 billion, while the higher education budget will amount to R R16.3 billion by 2019, Gordhan said.

You can read the full budget speech transcript on the National Treasury website.

[Image – Wits  CC BY SA Takurian]