R2,2 billion extra for SA universities


Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced in his 2007 Budget speech that an additional R8,1 billion will be made available over the next three years to hire
additional teachers, teaching assistants and support staff in schools and districts
and to improve remuneration levels of teachers.

"The Minister of Education will lead the process of determining how these resources should be used, focusing on the need to reward good teachers, provide support to poor schools and improve the quality of schooling in general,' added Manuel.

There will also be an amount of R700 million set aside for bursaries for teachers to encourage young people to train as teachers and to pursue careers in the public schooling system. "This should benefit about 13 000 teachers over the next three years'.

"Together with resources set aside in the provincial equitable share for the implementation of no-fee schools, and a substantial increase in resources for classroom building and providing water, electricity and sanitation in schools, the investments announced in this budget constitute a concerted effort to improve the quality of schooling in our country. It is a step change in resources going to schools, and we want to see a step change in results too'.

Adult Basic Education and Training will receive another R850 million.

"There will also be a further R2,2 billion to support the university sector to meet its objectives of increasing enrolment and producing more science, engineering and technology graduates," explained Manuel.

The further education and training sector receives R600 million for bursaries for deserving students.

Research and development will benefit from an investment of a further R1,2 billion for science and technology. R500 million of that amount will be used for the government’s contribution to the Square Kilometre Array, if the country is awarded that project.

"The South African Research Network, a joint project of the Departments of Public Enterprises and Science and Technology aimed at providing low-cost broadband links for the local academic community receives R95 million and R60 million is allocated to set up science research chairs at our major universities'.