Political Parties Oppose Higher Education Budget Cuts
Minister Nzimande presented the adjusted budget for the Department of Higher Education which saw budget cuts amounting to almost R10 billion. However, not all politicians were happy with it. He also spoke on launching a review of Unisa, TVET qualifications as well as the sector itself.
On the Higher Education budget being cut by almost R10 billion, Nzimande received objections from Portfolio Committee members.
EFF and DA have rejected the adjusted budget with the DA commenting that the budget is “destructive” and that “the cuts are real and they are happening already”.
In Minister Nzimande’s meeting with the Portfolio Committee, DA’s Prof Belinda Bozzolli, said “so serious are these budget cuts that Vice-Chancellors are meeting urgently this week to discuss the sustainability of Universities”.
However, this adjusted budget is supported by the ANC and IFP with the IFP noting, “budget cuts of R9,85 billion will have a long lasting impact on the quality of higher education.”
Just over R2 billion is being reprioritised from the state subsidy for Universities’ Covid-19 response for teaching, learning and campus readiness.
To successfully complete the academic year, Nzimande says his department had to adjust the budget. The Minister then broke up the budget appropriation in the following way:
University education R79,177,737 Billion
TVET R13,074,170 Billion
Skills Development R300,141 Million
Community Education R2,513,980 Billion
Planning, Policy and Strategy R198,069 million
Administration R445,503 million
National Skills Fund R2,258,102 million
This comes to a total of R107,000,116 Billion for the adjusted Higher Education budget.
For TVET Colleges role in the adjusted budget, the sector will benefit over 20 000 learners with access to training opportunities through a R2,1 billion funding window, said the Minister. R2,5 billion is also allocated by the National Skills Fund towards infrastructure and R350 million will be for last mile internet connectivity to all TVET Campuses.
The Minister also announced that he has appointed a Ministerial Task Team to launch an Independent Review of Unisa and said the University is, “clearly too big to fail”.
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