The presidency has strongly denied reports that President Jacob Zuma was about to announce free higher education during his State of the Nation Address this year but was stopped by Treasury.
President Jacob Zuma has finally released the much awaited commission report which was written as a response to the so-called #FeesMustFall protests.
Although Zuma has said registration fees will be scrapped for university students, he has effectively declared that it will still be a personal investment to enroll in tertiary education.
Following widespread student protests over tuition fee increases in 2015, Zuma established a Commission of Inquiry in January 2016 to investigate the feasibility of making higher education and training fee-free in the country.
Instead, the Commission recommends state-guaranteed loans for university students, to be paid back only when a graduate reaches an acceptable salary level.
For more than eight years, taxpayers' money has been used to pay for the President's legal costs in the so-called "Spy-Tapes" case.
The commission recommended that the government pay particular attention to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges as they can not perform at their current funding levels. Should this not be possible, income-contingent loans (ICLs), which are loans tailored to graduates' salaries should be made available to these students.
To implement this, the Mail & Guardian has suggested that Zuma is considering a range of budget cuts that could include slashing social grants and curtailing the roll out of social housing for the most vulnerable citizens.
Zuma has been sitting on the Heher report since receiving it on August 30 and has defied calls to release it from university institutions, opposition parties, and even the axed Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande.
Presidency, Jeff Radebe, and the Presidential Fiscal Committee to process Heher's report in order to advise him on how to proceed further.
Zuma will make a pronouncement on the report once the ministers have concluded their work. "I have chose to release the Report prior to the conclusion of our work in processing it so that the public can have an opportunity to study the report while we continue with the processing thereof", President Jacob Zuma said.