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The greatest protest by students in South Africa damages cost R460 - $30 Million

Jun 11 '16 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 1638 | Comments: 0
Protests over the inauguration of new student leadership at North West University‚ such as the torching of buildings on its Mahikeng campus in February‚ carry a price tag of a whopping R151 million — the worst in the country. Damage caused by student demonstrations at the University of Johannesburg are the second most costly‚ at R100 million.

     In a written response to the National Assembly‚ Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has detailed the cost of student protests to campus properties around South Africa‚ saying the total now stands at R459.8 million since October 2015.

    This means the costs of damage to properties have increased by more than R151 million in recent months.

    The department is in the process of investigating which universities will be lodging insurance claims to cover some of the damage costs‚ he said.

    The University of KwaZulu-Natal‚ University of Limpopo‚ Tshwane University of Technology and the University of the Western Cape have lodged claims with insurers estimated at a total of over R106 million.

    Insurers have to date paid out R28.2 million.

    Department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said that government will have to cover the costs that remain after insurance pay outs.

    “Public institutions are funded by government. We have to address the damages‚ we can’t leave it like that‚” he said.

    He added that while some institutions would be able to chip in to fix up campuses due to other streams of income like donations from wealthy alumni‚ previously disadvantaged universities will need more help from the government.

    So far the department has contributed an amount of R40.496 million towards damages at five historically disadvantaged universities — the University of Fort Hare‚ the University of Zululand‚ the University of the Western Cape‚ Walter Sisulu University and the University of Limpopo.

    Meanwhile staff at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University returned to work on Thursday after exams were suspended on Wednesday due to student protests in which a public road was damaged

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