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City varsity spends R150m on its staff

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In total, South Africa’s 26 higher education institutions spent R40 billion on employees’ compensation, with the local university spending the least.

THE NORTHERN Cape’s Sol Plaatje University spent R150 million on compensating its employees for the 2018 financial year.

In total, South Africa’s 26 higher education institutions spent R40 billion on employees’ compensation, with the local university spending the least.

According to Statistics SA’s latest report on the financial statistics of higher education institutions, Sol Plaatje University received grants totalling R656 million, while tuition fees brought in R76 million. A total of R123 million was spent on purchases of goods and services. The university’s financial assets amount to R178 million.

Universities nationally spend 61% of their total expenditure on the compensation of employees, which includes salaries and wages, pension benefits, medical aid and bonuses.

Higher education spending has been in the spotlight in recent years, following the implementation by many of these institutions of programmes to absorb staff previously employed by third-party contractors. This included the insourcing of catering, security and cleaning personnel.

The University of South Africa (Unisa) was the biggest spender on staff in 2018, committing just over R5bn on compensation for employees. This represents 13% of the total salary bill for all higher education institutions in the country.

The next biggest spenders were the University of Pretoria (R3.3bn), University of Cape Town (R2.9bn), University of the Witwatersrand (R2.5bn), Stellenbosch University (R2.5bn), and Tshwane University of Technology (R2.4 billion).