As students struggle with fees, Zululand University rushes to buy luxury sea view homes for its top execs.
As universities across the country face an uncertain future amid student revolts over fees and diminishing grants, the University of Zululand at Ngoye in North KwaZulu-Natal splashed out on nine luxury homes for its executives in an exclusive riverside estate – some still to be built.
In the end-of-year interlude between last year’s student riots and this year’s renewed riots, the university quietly spent R24 million, in cash, to purchase the properties – some of them still just vacant plots of land.
The university then furnished the houses with top-of-the-range sound systems, plasma-screen televisions, lounge suites and beds. The executives, who pocket between R1.3m for lowly officials, to R2.9m per annum for the vice chancellor, were intimately involved in the planning phase and some were even allowed to add a swimming pool or sauna – or both if they so wished. Noseweek’s sources believe the total cost will be in excess of R35m.
The property purchase was made while the university had failed to pay for its outsourced whistleblower programme – a programme the VC was keen to can – and while outstanding student funding had not been paid over to the university to help needy students.
The homes are in the upmarket Zini River Estate, in Mtunzini on KZN’s north coast, a 20-minute drive from the main university campus.