Public responds to higher education fees report

While the President has yet to comment on the Report of Commission of Inquiry into higher education fees, it has finally been released for public scrutiny.

South Africans have already starting voicing their opinions on the report. One facebook user, Sifiso Tso Ndala Mtsweni had this to say:

"The 'Income Contigency Loan' that is proposed by the Heher Commission report on Free Education should not be welcomed and must be rejected! This is a strategy to enrich commercial banks through state backed loans to fund a "loan-based education"! Basically that Heher Commission report is saying, replace NSFAS with Commercial Banks and that the state must stand as collateral for student loans. This is not what we submitted as a solution for free education as the ANCYL, we want a fully state subsidized fee-free post-matric schooling for the poor that does not involve commercial banks. What we basically submitted to the ANC Lekgotla of August was that make NSFAS a grant and not a loan and in that way you would achieved free education. In the same vein, re-calculate the threshold for the poor and missing middle, the poor should be recalculated at Atleast R350 000 household income and the missing middle at R650 000. The threshold for the poor has been the same since the advent of NSFAS without regard for inflationary growth etc. reading this report one can deduct that the only submissions that were accepted by the Judge are those of private capital and not that of either SASCO or the ANCYL. Now that the commission report has been made public, we continue to call for the President to declare free education for the poor through a fully state subsidized system and this must happen in 2018!"

Comments taken from Twitter:

Ilunga Ntengu‏ @davxnt wrote "The students never asked for free bank loans that will cripple them for decades. They asked for Free Education. It looks like the #FeesCommission did not understand what the students were asking."

Phiwe Indy Iqiniso‏ @IndyIqiniso "#FeesReport #FeesCommission might not be #freeeducation but it is better than nothing like those students who do not have accomodation."

Gugulethu Tshabalala‏ @iGugulamaswati "More loans? We can't afford the NSFAS one debt collectors keep calling for us to pay back, this is just sad and stupid #FeesCommission"

What are your thoughts on the Report?

Is the ICL proposal feasible? Is free education viable?Should all students receive government-backed loans?

You can read the report here

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