“The NDP recognises that we need a better education system to address poverty and build a more capable workforce. Education is the largest single category of government expenditure,” said South African Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan in his Medium Term Budget speech.
“It is projected to increase by an annual average rate of 7 per cent over the next three years to 287 billion rand in 2016/17. The school infrastructure backlogs grant and education infrastructure grant will grow strongly over the spending period.”
Education and related functions is expected to receive 250.2 billion rand, 267.8 billion rand and 286.5 billion rand respectively over the next three fiscal periods.
The country is in need of more people attending and completing tertiary education and better basic education means better schools, better teachers and better student results.
Spending on employee reimbursement accounts for, on average, 61 per cent of the function and to finance additional wage pressures, including an occupation-specific dispensation for therapists, the indicative baseline has had to increase.
School infrastructure backlogs grant and education infrastructure grant have been trimmed. These two grants continue to grow strongly over the spending period, by 10.2 per cent and 14.8 per cent respectively.
Gordhan also added that the budget had also, “earmarked amounts for broadband connectivity in schools.”