Wits vice-chancellor tells Wits Vuvuzela that the daily running of the university costs over R10 million  

Wits vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib says it costs over R10 million to run Wits University daily.

The institution runs on an annual budget of between R3.5 billion and R3.7 billion, Habib told Wits Vuvuzela in an interview.

“When you’re talking Wits university… the council funds teaching, the students…scholarships and requests for hardship fund, the passing, the examinations [and] all of that, it costs R10 million a day, [meaning] R3.5 billion divided by 365.”

The total can reach up to R20 million a day when research costs of about R7 million are included, he said.

The university’s funding comes from three major sources: state subsidy of around 50%, student fees of around 45% and third stream income/scholarships which contribute the rest.

With over R1 billion a year, Wits’ third stream income is the largest of any university in the country, according to Habib.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)did not comment on the amount needed to run Wits, but confirmed in an interview with Wits Vuvuzela that they would be transferring about “R1.73 million on a monthly basis as part of the 2019 budget starting in the new finacial year.”

A further R2 billion would be allocated to the univerty annually, said the DHET, and would go towards the running of Wits for the financial year that begins on April 1.

The VC warned that student protests had a huge impact on university finances as investors could lose confidence in the institution.

“If there’s masked individuals closing up the campus and threatening people, donors will say to us, ‘why would we give you money for that?’

“The danger in running the university also lies in the lack of fees payment because the university would have to go into debt in order to make up for the lost money.

This is an eventuality the institution works to avoid at all costs, according to Habib. “If we go into debt, we start cutting salaries, operational costs, and then you’ll start seeing a decline in standards,” Habib told Wits Vuvuzela.

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Habib talks to Wits Vuvuzela about daily University spendings worth R10 million. Photo: Phumi Ramalepe