Zapiro addresses the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Zapiro. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

CARTOONIST Jonathan "Zapiro" Shapiro says the government and rich people should foot the bill for student fees.

He said this on Tuesday to TMG Digital after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s statement on Monday that universities should individually determine 2017 fee increases.

Shapiro said he believed the government should pay for student fees and the rich should also subsidise poor students’ fees.

"I don’t think that the country can afford for the rich and upper-middle class to have an entirely free tertiary education."

Shapiro said the main concern was the "missing middle"‚ students whose families earned to much for them to qualify for government student loans but not enough to pay student fees.

He said the most needy could not afford to study, the rich could and the large group in the middle would "always be in difficulties no matter what is worked out".

Shapiro said that while the rich forked out for their own education‚ the government should be able to pay for the rest of the students.

"They will be able to find the money they need to make up that kind of subsidy to be able to fund students. They will be able to find that money if government departments stopped wasting money and corruption stops‚" he said.