JOHANNESBURG – The World Bank yesterday warned that the projected fiscal outcome of the new education financial aid scheme would balloon to more than R170 billion in the next five years and cast doubt on South Africa’s capacity to meet its White Paper enrolment targets.
The Washington-based lender said the nascent scheme would absorb a much higher proportion of the country’s budgetary needs.
The bank said the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) allocation could increase from R65bn in 2017/18 to R172bn in 2022/23, or from about 1.4 to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
It said that under the scheme, increasing public TVET admission capacity by 10 percent would cost an additional 0.05 percent of GDP and an additional 0.10 percent to increase university admission capacity by 10 percent. The lender said these numbers mean that the White Paper targeted may prove to be extremely challenging within South Africa’s medium-term fiscal framework.
Programme leader Sebastien Dessus said countries that faced acute public resource constraints never achieved rapid growth in enrolment by following the traditional model of building and funding new public universities within budgetary resources.