ANC lekgotla calls for full student funding subsidies for the poor from 2018

EWN senior reporter Stephen Grootes says there are two kinds of ANC meetings in his opinion.

There's the kind where the forces on one side or both sides agree, and one side is strong enough to do what it wants to do - and there's the kind of meeting where neither side is able to do what they want to do, and you end up in a kind of holding pattern.

Stephen Grootes, EWN senior reporter

It was one of the latter kind of meetings he says, with no big decisions made.

There was a big focus on the economy as was expected, with a broad acceptance of the 14 point plan as outlined by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, and a big discussion on state owned entities.

Grootes says it was nothing new.

Of more interest, he notes, was the discussion on the higher education sector.

The NEC said that for all first-year students who enroll for the first time next year, there should be fully subsidised grants for academically qualifying poor students - in other words from families who earn below R150 000 a year. And

Stephen Grootes, EWN senior reporter

Those students known as 'the missing middle' from families with an annual income of R150 000 to R600 000 should be subsidised through a combination of grants and affordable loans, he reports.

That is sort of new...and we are still expecting the commission on higher education report back. If I was Judge Heher, I might feel a little overruled.

Stephen Grootes, EWN senior reporter

If I was being really cynical, there were little bits of economic band-aid here but nothing really serious that's going to change anything.

Stephen Grootes, EWN senior reporter

ANC Provincial Western Cape executive committee decided to disband the Dullah Omar Region, and the region asked for an NEC intervention.

The NEC agreed to overturn that decision to disband the regional leadership...though as Gwede Mantashe said 'this is not a region of angels'.

Stephen Grootes, EWN senior reporter

Whether this affects the balance of power remains to be seen, says Grootes.

Take a listen to more as Stephen Grootes chats to Bongani Bingwa:

Stephen Grootes also chatted to John Maytham about the lekgotla. Listen below:

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