WC universities assess damages

The UWC said damage caused at the institution’s Bellville campus is estimated at between R10 and R12 million.

A student adds fuel to the bonfire during violent clashes between police and students at the University of the Western Cape. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape universities are counting the costs in the wake of devastating protests linked to the Fees Must Fall campaign.

Demonstrators caused widespread damage at various institutions demanding an end to outsourcing and the scrapping of student debt.

This week, students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were asked to vacate residences as a safety precaution.

Universities across the province will have to dig deep to repair several vandalised buildings.

UWC said damage done at the institution's Bellville campus is estimated at between R10 and R12 million.

At CPUT, the council released R10 million to fix vandalised property at various campuses.

Meanwhile, UCT says it's focusing on exams and will assess the extent of damage caused by protesting students at a later stage.

At the same time, police were dispatched to the CPUT's Bellville campus where a small group of students were protesting and refusing to leave residences.

The institution said majority of students heeded a call to vacate residences by Wednesday.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said no student was forced to leave.

"A small group of protesting students are being closely monitored by campus protection and the South African Police Service."

This week, the CPUT financial aid building was set alight for the second time while at the UWC a residence and security booths were torched.

Both institutions say alternative arrangements will be made for final year and post-grad students who are currently writing exams.