University chaos sparks wave of middle class capital flight

University Protest Fire
University Protest Fire

By Alec Hogg

South Africa’s student unrest is causing a fresh wave of capital flight. My contacts in the city of London say since universities started burning, there has been a surge in requests from South Africans to move money offshore.

But this time the middle class is panicking. Nothing frightens a parent more than the thought of not being able to offer their children a better chance than they had. For many, that’s the entire purpose of their existence.

Problem is, for foreign students, a year at a modestly ranked Western university costs upwards of R600 000. In after-tax money. And, worse, those who study abroad have a nasty habit of actually staying on in their new geographies.

So as university exams get cancelled in the name of decolonising education, an unintended consequence is the export of another chunk of SA’s future tax base. Talk about shooting off your own foot.

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