#ANCNEC: Free education for the poor coming soon
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Johannesburg - Free education for the poor may be implemented by next year, says ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe.
Mantashe was giving feedback on the ANC's three-day lekgotla on Monday and outlined some of the plans to change higher education by providing support to poor students.
The Lekgotla agreed that the first steps towards free education for the poor should be implemented for first year students from 2018.
Full grants should be provided to academically qualifying poor students whose household income is less than R150 000, said Mantashe.
Students whose household income is between R150 000 and R600 000 will receive a mixture of grants and loans to help substitute their fee payments.
"Students will have to maintain adequate academic performance and failure to do so would lead to disqualification," said Mantashe.
He denied that the intervention by the Lekgotla on free education was meant to avert protest action by students this year.
Another focus for Lekgotla was the stubbornly high youth unemployment numbers.
Mantashe said the Lekgotla called for the reviving of youth focused prgrammes such as the Expanded Public Works Programme, to ensure greater impact.
The unemployment rate currently sits at 27.7% the highest since 2003.
This is the last lekgotla for the current National Executive Committee before the party's elective conference in December.