English: The thrust of this article is on the issues of who pays, who should pay and who benefits
from open distance higher education in the current context of global competition,
on the one hand, and the widening of participation, social equity and redress, on
the other, in South Africa. The discussions emphasise the public-private good
dichotomy, as well as social and private returns and how open and distance higher
education promotes social equity and efficiency. The article explores the extent to
which open distance higher education promotes the widening access for previously
disadvantaged groups and improvement of social and economic equities.