1 November 2016
Dear colleagues and students
This is an update on recent events at the University of Cape Town.
Exams start on 7 November 2016, but students have the option of deferring individual exams or their full block of exams to January 2017. To help secure the campus during the examination period, we will consolidate exam sittings in a few venues. For an overview of exam timetables, UCT services during exams and details on how to defer exams, read the exams page…
2017 term dates
With necessary changes having been made to the 2016 university calendar in order to complete the academic year, work has been underway to update and finalise the 2017 term dates. The proposed calendar has been approved and the 2017 term dates are now available. Check the term dates…
Libraries and Jammie Shuttles
UCT Libraries will operate on exam hours during the exam period 30 October – 25 November 2016. Jammie Shuttles are running.
Insourcing of C3 employees
With effect from 1 November, 267 employees from C3 Food Services are now full-time employees of the University of Cape Town (UCT) following the insourcing of staff from five service providers as of 1 July 2016. This means that all of the previously outsourced services are now part of UCT, with the university honouring its commitment to social justice and ensuring that these outsourced workers become part of the UCT family. As the university welcomes our new colleagues, there will be a continued focus on ensuring that the insourced services are effectively utilised and optimally configured.
Variation of order
On Tuesday, 25 October, the High Court of the Western Cape granted UCT an interim interdict that was aimed at ensuring that UCT operations were protected and that the university could conclude the year and exams. The university would have preferred not to have pursued this route, but felt that the unlawful action by some of the protesters left the institution with no other option. The university remains deeply concerned for the safety of staff and students alike (including protesters) and was extremely worried that the violence and unlawfulness that some protesters engaged in presented a real risk to life and limb. The interim interdict prohibited the disruption of exams, libraries, research and other laboratories, and the ability of any of the university's employees to do their work. On 27 October UCT was advised by the High Court of the Western Cape that the order it issued on 25 October 2016 had been varied. The affected clauses were 1.2 and 3 as highlighted in the order. Read the order...
Expanded free internet access for students
Vodacom has now zero-rated critical UCT-related URLs (including Vula and UCT Libraries), which means that students can access these sites without incurring data costs. Vodacom joins Telkom, MTN and Cell C in enabling students to access university resources (including course and library materials) free of charge.
Permanent removal of Rhodes statue approved
Heritage Western Cape's Built Environment and Landscape Committee gave unanimous approval on 31 October to UCT's proposal for the permanent removal from campus of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes. The statue was removed from the plinth at the bottom of the Jammie steps in April 2015 and taken to a private location for safe storage. Separate application processes will in due course be followed by UCT for the approval by Heritage Western Cape for any conservation work on the statue, its final relocation, as well as the future of the plinth.
UCT welcomes additional R10 million funding by Absa
The University of Cape Town welcomes a generous contribution of R10 million to the university's scholarship programme by financial services provider Absa. Having appealed to the corporate sector to consider complementing efforts to tackle higher education funding, Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price commended Absa for heeding the call and thanked them for their generosity. The full amount received from Absa will be channelled towards funding for missing-middle students – those students whose family income is above the R122 000 per annum National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) threshold, but below R600 000. The R10 million scholarship is part of an additional R57 million that was allocated by Absa towards the 2016 university tuition fees for 1 450 students in need of financial aid across all South African universities.
Protest activity on campus
Campus Protection Services reported that approximately 200 protesters congregated outside Bremner building yesterday afternoon, Monday, 31 October, and presented a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor. The protest focused on the university's programme to complete the 2016 academic year. The executive will be responding to the memorandum shortly.
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