News Brief
Photo by Imraan Christian.

CPUT and UCT Have Spent R54 Million on Campus Security in the Past 2 Years

Why aren't universities prioritizing student fees, and support services such as mental health and wellness?

IOL reports that the Cape Peninsula University of Technology has spent R30 million on private security in the past three months. The University of Cape Town has spent R24.28m in two years, of which R10m was paid by insurance.


The move to hire private security companies on campuses has led to the institutions being criticized for militarizing universities and suppressing student protests, especially in light of the Fees Must Fall protests of the past two year.

CPUT acting vice-chancellor, Chris Nhlapo disputes this. "We are not really militarizing campuses, we are providing security under our own guidance," IOL quoted him as saying.

"In 2015 and 2016 damages to the university were about R50m, and this year we are still tallying the numbers because we still have sporadic incidents.

"It is going to have a major impact on our budget because we will have to pay for something we already had."

Both students and staff members feel tightening security on campuses is not the solution, and that it will cause further agitation.

There were complaints about why universities aren't prioritizing student fees, and support systems such as mental health, especially with the outbreak of suicides in South African universities.

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Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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