R2 million and counting. That’s how much damage the City of Cape Town was done in the CBD during a violent student protest on Wednesday.
More than a thousand students descended on the gates of Parliament to demand that government provide free education for all.
But the #FeesMustFall march quickly turned violent when police and protesters clashed after a mock coffin for Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande was set alight and thrown at officers.
Police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the mob.
Protesters set alight rubbish bins and threw rocks and glass bottles at police.
Authorities say one law enforcement vehicle, four metro police vehicles, two SAPS vehicles, one private vehicle, one MyCiTi bus, Golden Arrow buses and several buildings were damaged.
Golden Arrow’s Bronwen Dyke-Beyer says they are still calculating damages to four of their buses, whose windows were thrown out.
A KFC in Plein Street and a McDonald’s at Cape Town Train Station were also targeted.
KFC Africa’s Managing Director, Doug Smart says they are working with authorities to find the culprits.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says several buildings in the Parliamentary precinct were also damaged.
“The extent of damages is still being assessed but early estimates are a cost of R500 000 to the City and R2 million total,” he says.
“We are calling on affected residents and businesses to open cases with the SAPS as video footage of events is available and will be used to identify and prosecute offenders.
“A total of six arrests have been made — four for public violence and two for assault of a police officer.”
Meanwhile, 25 students from the University of the Western Cape and Cape Peninsula University of Technology, who were arrested last week for violence, were released on R3 000 bail on Wednesday.