There is no such thing as a free lunch
It is estimated that to provide free higher education for students will cost around R100 billion per year. In applying the concept of opportunity cost to free higher education, economists would put forward the following argument:
There is no such thing as free higher education because someone has to pay for it. As a society, we will need to make a decision about who will pay for it. But even if the R100 billion could be found before it is used to finance higher education, the alternative uses of the R100 billion should also be considered. Should we not spend it on primary and tertiary education or health or job creation? To be able to make this decision we need to do a cost benefit analysis.