Damage From Student Protests Amounts To Millions

The Minister of Higher Education has condemned the vandalism of University property as a result of the student protests and has said that it has amounted to millions of rands in repairs. Students who are found guilty of damaging University property will be followed by law enforcement.

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Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education in the country, has condemned the recent vandalism of university property and theft which has taken place during student protests and has said that it is criminal.

The Minister has said that these acts will not help when it comes to demands for greater equality in higher education as he explains:

I am also convinced that all progressive stakeholder organisations will agree that criminal and violent acts have no legitimacy in genuine political protests around demands for greater equality in post-school education and training.

Repairs, both done and in process, as a result of the student protests is said to have costed R32 791 397,39. 

Nzimande then continued to say, "none of these acts and massive losses incurred could be justified or associated with any legitimate forms of protest and should be condemned unequivocally by all, including our student and union stakeholders".

At the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, recently had two cases of vandalism where repairs came to R250 000. Added to this is R2 690 000 of repairs needed due to classrooms being set alight.

Rhodes University reported minor vandalism cases due to burglary or forced entry with the damage amounting to R5 000.

The University of Johannesburg reported seven cases of vandalism and repairs were done to the value of R202 826.

The Central University of Technology had repairs amounting to R1 457 202 due to 2020 student protests.These repairs have been finished.

In June last year, Sefako Makgatho University saw University damage which required R30 220 in repairs.

The total of repairs at the University of Kwazulu-Natal came to R27 388 914 as several cases of damage to property and burning of buildings due to student protests in 2020./

The University of Fort Hare suffered two cases of vandalism and theft, costing the university R166 008. 

At the University of Venda, R133 228 was needed for repairs due to protest action.

The Minister has called on law enforcement agencies to act against any acts of violence and destruction of public and private property.

The destruction of property is a criminal offence and all those engaging in such acts must be apprehended by law enforcement agencies and face the full might of the law.

He also called on University Vice-Chancellors to tighten up appropriate safety and security measures to prevent any form of destruction.

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