Briefing the media in Pretoria on Sunday afternoon, Zuma said every person in South Africa who earns more than R15 000 per month will be forced to pay an extra tax.
“I admit my decision to give free education to poor students was rushed and completely unrealistic, but we need to all stand together as a country now to make it happen,” Zuma said.
He said from 1 March 2018 an additional, compulsory tax would be implemented across the board.
This tax, called the ‘Fund A Student Tax’ (FAST), would be a deduction of 10% from any monthly gross income of over R15 000.
This means someone earning R15 000 a month would contribute R1500 every month.
Zuma said, “The good news for all South Africans is that when you pay this tax, you will know you are helping someone get a tertiary education. This person could be your doctor or your lawyer one day.”
Zuma called on South Africans to not see FAST as a deduction, but rather as an investment in the future of the country.
“I know what people are going to say, and they are going to accuse me of pulling a FAST one, but the truth is I panicked when I made the announcement in December, and now we must all stand together to fix that,” Zuma said.