Public financing of education in the developing world context combines public and private funds, and the utilisation of fees is seen as a way of complementing state resources. In South Africa the new government in 1994 permitted schools to charge fees, a policy that has provoked much controversy. While different aspects of this policy have been well documented, less is known about the decision to review this policy and declare certain schools as no-fees schools in 2006. This paper addresses this gap by reviewing the current no-fees schools policy and its potential impact on the South African education system. Specifically it examines whether the amended policy promotes school access for the poor while creatively complementing state resources. It is argued that while the policy is a progressive step away from charging fees for basic education, there are a number of policy challenges that require further reflection and research
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