Beleaguered Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande claims there is enough money for higher education but that “the problem is that a lot of it is in the private sector.”

As Leon Louw says:

‘If by “private sector”, you mean companies, you have a conceptual problem.  Companies do not pay tax, people do.  A company is a juristic person, a “legal fiction”, a notional intermediary between stakeholders.  It has no self-serving interests.  No one has the slightest idea which individuals ultimately pay “company tax”.  Which people have less because of it: shareholders, employees, managers, financiers, consumers or tax collectors?  It varies hugely between companies and sectors.  Taxing companies is like firing shotguns into dark rooms; you have no idea who you hit, and it differs with each shot’.

Read Leon Louw’s latest weekly column Pro-market policies will sustain free education first published by Business Day on BDlive today [subscription required]

Excerpts

You want free tertiary education, but there is no such thing.  There are no free lunches and no free lessons.  For what is mistakenly called “free” education, you need about R37bn.  That is one-tenth of what another failed undertaking, Eskom, wastes.  The economy (GDP) is R370bn smaller due to the perpetuation of apartheid’s biggest dinosaur.  End the Eskom farce and private sector electricity will provide you, directly and indirectly, at lower tax rates, with much more than you need for “free” tertiary education.

. . . .

Your higher education budget is already enough to fund superior privatised education for the poor, with those who can afford it funding themselves.  Moreover, you do not even have to lay out all the money.  You could mobilise the additional money you want from the private sector by underwriting student loans.