On Monday night, the African National Congress (ANC) finally concluded the election of the party top six. Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president of South Africa, emerged as the 13th president of the party ahead of Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma.
On Saturday, President Jacob Zuma announced a new free education plan, however his preferred successor was beaten. How will this affect his plan?
The University of the Witwatersrandâ€
Ramaphosa and his New Deal may have won ANC presidency but it wonâ€
Zuma might no longer be the president of the ANC, but is still president of the country. It remains his job to get policy passed and implemented. â€œBecause he is still the president of the country for the time being, at least until April 2019, it will be his job to get that implementation done,â€ Booysen said.
The top six however could contest the free education plan because the president didnâ€
The new top six can also put pressure on Zuma to ensure responsible implementation and getting it through the finance ministry – he did use his presidential fiscal committee to review the policy â€œwhich is a 100% Zuma creation,â€ said Booysen.
Booysen said it will be an interesting space to watch, especially since it has to be implemented next year. She said: â€œThe vice chancellorsâ€
According to Bond, the finance ministry will have to find the money by â€œsubstantiallyâ€ raising value-added tax (VAT) in February, pitting poor and working-class people who bear the highest relative VAT burden against poor students.
Bond however said there are other ways Zuma and the finance ministry could raise the money to fund it. “Zuma should have made provision for raising corporate taxes by at least a few percent, or ending overcharges within state procurement – which currently costs taxpayers R240 billion extra each year,” he said. They should also cancel “absurd mega-project white elephants” like the R800 billion coal export train line or R250 billion South Durban port-petrochemical expansion, “both of which are corruption-riddled climate killers that will adversely affect future student generations,” said Bond.
Editors note: This article has been updated with additional comment from Patrick Bond.