12 April 2016

South Africa: R300 Million Cost of Damage At Universities

Photo: Ashraf Hendriks/The Daily Vox
A protesting UWC student sets a tyre alight (file photo).

Pretoria — The recent students' protests have resulted to property damage in universities amounting to R300 million.

According to the figures released by the Department of Higher Education and Training on Tuesday, the total damage of property in 14 universities is R300 302 848.58.

Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said he is astounded by the extent of damage to property as a result of students' protests in the recent period of the 2015/16 financial year.

"It cannot be acceptable from us as government that students' protests are resulting into violence and destruction of universities' property that belong to the public of South Africa and future generations to come," Minister Nzimande said.

Minister Nzimande said that the department has agreed that law enforcement agencies must work with them in protecting the property, students and the staff as a whole.

"We have been worried about a particular fringe within students who have captured and diverted genuine students' demands for their own ends and using violence and damaging property."

The breakdown of the damage in Universities of Stellenbosch is R352 000, North West R151 000 000, Limpopo R1 786 294.52, Johannesburg R345 000, Western Cape R46 544 446, Walter Sisulu R351 287.19 and Tshwane University of Technology R5 073 747.73.

Damages at Universities of KwaZulu-Natal is R82 000 000, Cape Town R3 200 000, Zululand R4 500 000, Rhodes R250 000, Wits R1 410 223, Free State R2 800 000 and Cape Peninsula University of Technology R 689 850.14

Minister Nzimande noted that the University of South Africa, Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology and University of Fort Hare had their property damaged, but have not as yet quantified the cost of damage.

"Vaal University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Venda, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and University of Pretoria, had no or minor damages to quantify."

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