Figures released by the Department of Higher Education and Training says the recent student’s protests in South Africa caused over R300 million property damage in the universities.
Precisely, the total damage of property in 14 universities is R300 302 848.58.
A breakdown of the damages indicated that 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.
Also, 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.
Meanwhile, the cost of damages at the University of South Africa, Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology and University of Fort Hare are yet to be quantified.
Other institutions like Vaal University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Venda, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and University of Pretoria, had little or no damages to quantify.
Commenting, the Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, said he’s shocked by the over R300m cost of damage at universities, the recent student’s protests caused.
“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,” he said.
He warned that his department will henceforth, extensively partner with law enforcement agencies to protect property, students and staff at the higher institutions in the country.
“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,” he added.
Responding, the Democratic Alliance (DA) condemned the waste highlighting that “the best course of action for the ANC government is to ensure that further protests are averted by making more funds available to universities.”