Universities and other tertiary institutions in South African spent 2.7 billion dollars to pay employees in the 2018 financial year, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday, 30 October 2019.
In its latest report on the financing of higher education institutions, the agency said remunerations represented 61 percent of total spending by the institutions.
The expenditure was far higher than the 14 percent of total expenditure the private sector spent on its staff during the same period, Stats SA said.
Salaries and wages, pension benefits, medical aid and bonuses made up the bulk of the spending, the report said.
The Pretoria-based University of South Africa (Unisa) was the biggest spender on staff in 2018, committing just over R5 billion (about 342 million dollars) on compensation for employees, the report said.
This represented 13 percent of the total salary bill for all higher education institutions in the country, it added.
Unisa is the largest higher education institution in the country, enrolling a third of the nation’s one million students.
Following Unisa were the University of Pretoria which spent 220 million dollars; University of Cape Town (193 million dollars); University of the Witwatersrand (167 million dollars); Stellenbosch University (167 million dollars); and Tshwane University of Technology (160 million dollars).
Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape Province was the varsity that spent the least on salaries at 6.7 million dollars, Stats SA said in the report.