The damage caused by protesting students in the Fees Must Fall movement has cost universities more than R786m, equivalent to the annual state subsidy provided to a small university, it emerged in parliament on Tuesday. In a detailed written reply to questions posed by the DA, higher education and training minister Naledi Pandor spelt out the destruction wrought to universities over a three-year period, cataloguing how laboratories, libraries and buildings were set alight and vandalised on campuses across the country. Fees Must Fall was a student movement that began in 2015, and centred on a campaign for free higher education. The direct damage reported by the universities stood at R492.4m in 2015/2016, R237.7m in 2016/2017 and R56.5m in 2017/2018. The hardest-hit institutions were North West University, which sustained R198m in damage after its Mafikeng campus was set alight; the University of Johannesburg, which saw fire and vandalism cause damage worth R144m and the University of ...

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