Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:
1. Alert over white minibus involved in kidnapping incidents
The University of Cape Town (UCT) students and staff are alerted to an apparent trend of crime occurring along the Main Road in UCT’s vicinity. Rondebosch police have informed Campus Protection Services of three incidents of kidnapping, with one of these involving a UCT student, that have been reported in the past few weeks at the police station.
Two suspects – a driver and his assistant (fee collector) – travelling in a white minibus and masquerading as a taxi, have forced unsuspecting passengers entering the minibus onto the floor of the empty vehicle after boarding. The suspects then get the passenger to call their next-of-kin and then demand a ransom for their release. The kidnapped UCT student has since been safely released. Police are investigating this and the other similar incidents in the area. Members of the campus community are advised to travel in groups and avoid getting into taxis that have no other passengers.
2. Executive update on negotiations with unions regarding the Salipswu dispute
Following the withdrawal of the strike notice on Wednesday, 6 September 2017, UCT has held extensive negotiations with unions on a wide range of issues. The first such substantive meeting took place on Thursday, 7 September 2017.
As the meeting concluded late on Thursday, there was agreement to meet at 09:00 the following day. The executive however notified the union that it would not be ready with a written response on the demands in time for the meeting scheduled for Friday, but committed to sending a written response as soon as it was finalised. The executive submitted its response at 11:30, as promised. The parties have reached a significant degree of common ground on a number of the issues, and UCT expects negotiations to continue next week on outstanding points.
We are also aware that the union reported on the engagement to workers at lunchtime today. We believe we have made progress on multiple issues and we remain hopeful that we can resolve the remaining issues with the union.
3. Invitation to Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture series
You are invited to attend the first Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture for 2017 which will be presented by Professor Genevieve Langdon, deputy head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Blast Impact & Survivability Research Unit. The lecture, titled “Explosion Protection: Reality or Fantasy”, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 12 September 2017, at 17:30 in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Snape Building on upper campus.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture series provides newly appointed full professors with the opportunity to introduce themselves and their area of academic expertise to both the university community and a broader public audience. This series is different from the faculty inaugural lectures, which are academic in nature, aimed at colleagues in the faculty, and are not necessarily accessible to the wider public.
4. Nominations/Applications for the Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award 2017
Established in 2009, the Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award recognises members of the university community who demonstrate that social engagement enhances the teaching and learning process – one of the universitiy’s priorities.
All nominations and applications for the annual award should be submitted to Sonwabo Ngcelwane by 2 October 2017. Nominations/Applications are open to individual staff and formal or informal groupings within the university.
5. Jammie Shuttle affected by road closures on 17 September
On the morning of Sunday, 17 September 2017, the Jammie shuttles and general traffic will be impacted by road closures for the Cape Town Marathon. From 06:40 to 09:40 the Main Road city-bound carriageway from the N2 to Protea Bridge in Claremont will be affected. This includes the cross-overs to, or from, all mountainside intersections, including Rhodes Avenue, Woolsack Drive, Grotto Road, Klipper Road and Dean Street. The Jammie Shuttle service will only start operating after 10:00.
6. Freedom of association in the workplace
In a recent DVC Desk, Professor Hugh Corder reminded all university employees that they have the right to join any trade union of their choice and to participate in the activities and programmes of that union, and equally that no employee is obliged to join a trade union. In the communication, he emphasised that all who work at UCT are encouraged – indeed obliged – to respect these rights.
7. IRTC Steering Committee
The Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission Steering Committee met on Thursday, 24 August 2017, to discuss the results of a poll held to canvass the opinions of the relevant constituencies on each of the 18 people nominated to be commissioners. Not all constituencies participated in the poll, however, so a new online poll was held on 6 September.
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