How much it will cost to send your kids to school and university over the next 18 years in South Africa

 ·20 Feb 2018
Private Public School
While education remains a top priority for South African parents, steep annual tuition fee hikes versus average salaries barely able to keep pace means it is vital that putting your kids through school becomes part of a considered financial plan.

This is according to Marius Pretorius, proposition manager at Old Mutual, who cites recent Statistics SA data which found that almost two in every 10 potential learners are unable to attend school or a tertiary institution due to a lack of funds.

“This is extremely worrying and suggests that many parents are not planning sufficiently and also not aware that help is out there,” said Pretorius.

“The fact is you don’t have to shoulder the burden of financing your child’s education alone.”

He further cautioned that despite government’s recent announcement that students from working-class homes would qualify for free higher education from this year, South African parents would still need to factor in the additional expenses related to education.


According to Old Mutual, the cost of education is expected to increase by about 9% per year.

This means that within five years, you could be facing school fees of around R50,000 per annum – for a public school.

Similar increases can be expected across the education sector Old Mutual said, with the expected cost of one year of university rising from R58,860 in 2018 to R254,725 by 2035.

Below are the expected costs for one year of education at public and private high schools, and universities over the next 18 years.

Expected cost of one year of education 2018 2023 2030 2035
Public Primary or High School R34 613 R53 256 R97 355 R149 792
Private Primary School R84 742 R130 386 R238 351 R366 733
Private High School R136 065 R209 352 R382 704 R588 838
University R58 860 R90 563 R165 553 R254 725

Read: 23 day schools in South Africa that charge more than R100,000 a year for tuition

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