Destructive Fees Must Fall protests cost universities R786m
Naledi Pandor catalogues how laboratories, libraries and buildings were set alight and vandalised on campuses across the country
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 ...