South Africa: Calculating the Losses of Cape Town's Three Days of Hell

analysis

It is too early to accurately predict what the total cost of the Rhodes Memorial fire will be -- and some of the losses are simply incalculable. But it's already clear that the bill will be enormous, in multiple ways.

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is without doubt the greatest victim of the Rhodes Memorial fire, though all staff and students escaped without harm.

Western Cape government spokesperson James-Brent Styan said on Tuesday that six buildings on the UCT campus were either damaged or destroyed -- in addition to the Jagger Reading Room, which is classified as a heritage building.

Professor Sue Harrison, the university's deputy vice-chancellor for research, described the loss of the Jagger Reading Room as "our major tragedy", adding that some of the special collections have been lost. There is yet to be clarity on the archival losses, with some academics urging optimism due to fireproofing measures installed under the leadership of former vice-chancellor Dr Max Price.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola told Daily Maverick there was as yet no official confirmation of all...

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