Thursday, 2 November

02 November 2017


While most classes, tests and exams continued today, protesters caused severe disruptions to services and classes and vandalised a number of buildings. The Jammie Shuttle service was disrupted for a while and many libraries were closed for most of the day due to the protest action. Eight protesters were arrested for unlawful actions.


A UCT staff member who is a controller in a residence kitchen was taken to hospital after she collapsed near the Tugwell/Marquard shuttle area. She was admitted to hospital but was shortly afterwards released. The suspicion is that she had an anxiety attack.

An interim interdict granted by the Western Cape High Court means that anybody engaging in unlawful protest will be in contempt of this court order, which is a criminal offence and may lead to arrest. A number of protesters have been arrested during the course of the day.

One student was arrested by the Mowbray South African Police Service (SAPS) for damaging a number of Jammie Shuttle bus tyres this morning at Upper Matopa Road, Mowbray. A case has been opened.

Two students were arrested by the SAPS for public violence and violation of the court interdict when they barricaded Baxter Road on lower campus this morning. A case has been opened.

Two unidentified male students were arrested by the SAPS for violation of the court interdict when they were caught trying to force their way into the South African College of Music and preventing other students from accessing the building.

Two students and one unidentified male were arrested by the SAPS when they tried to force their way into the Sports Centre on upper campus. One of the students is a citizen of the USA and the US Consulate has been informed of their arrest.


Residences have stopped catering services due to disruptions caused by protesters. Students in residences have been given food vouchers for breakfast, lunch and supper today (Thursday, 2 November 2017) and tomorrow (Friday, 3 November 2017). A decision about catering in residences over the weekend will be made later this evening when the executive of the College of Wardens meet. The decision made will be communicated accordingly.


VC’s media conference

Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price and other members of the UCT executive hosted a media conference at 11:00 this morning to discuss issues around fee-free higher education and the current student protests on campus. Watch the video...

DVC Prof Hugh Corder on the interim interdict

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Corder speaks about the interim interdict granted by the Western Cape High Court. Watch the video...

VC Dr Max Price on campus disruptions and engagements with protesters

Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price speaks about the recent disruptions on campus caused by a small group of students and condemns their unlawful behaviour in the strongest terms. He also outlines the UCT executive’s ongoing engagements with protesters, their list of demands and the executive’s reasonable attempts to meet legitimate demands. Watch the video...

Academic delivery at UCT

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Daya Reddy speaks about the importance of completing the academic year and successfully completing the exams. He stresses that the consequences of not finishing the year will be dire for students, and outlines some of these. Watch the video...

Dr Price speaks on thinking around increases

Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price speaks about the university’s current thinking on fee increases for tuition and residence fees in 2018. He emphasises that students on financial aid and missing-middle students will be protected from these increases through a greater university allocation to financial aid. Watch the video...

Dr Price speaks on mental health issues at the university

Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price speaks about mental health issues at UCT and what the university is doing to address these issues. He discusses the Mental Health Task Team that was established in 2016 and the preventive and responsive services that have been implemented as a result of their findings. Watch the video...


Late this morning, a group of protesters entered the Leslie Social Sciences Building and disrupted activities and vandalised the building. The group then entered the Mathematics Building, but there has as yet been no report of damages. From there they moved to Madiba Circle and attempted to erect a barricade. Public Order Policing (POPs) arrived and the group dispersed. The protesting group then moved to the Molly Blackburn building.

A group of protesters has been overturning benches in the food court. The POPs are on hand, but the library has been closed until further notice.

Protesters were prevented from entering the South African College of Music. One stun grenade was used to control the situation. Two arrests were made.

The security services have encountered difficulties in carrying out their responsibilities due to the complexity introduced when protesters mix with groups of students and staff not involved in protest action.


Campus remains open today and all test venues will be protected. Tests and exams will proceed as scheduled. However, the situation is volatile. The executive are working with Campus Protection Services (CPS), private security and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in an attempt to contain the situation.

As some protesters have resorted to unlawful activities, the SAPS will act in terms of the interim interdict that was granted by the court to prevent unlawful action. Please note the terms of the interim interdict granted by the High Court of the Western Cape.

The Jammie Shuttle service has resumed, but please be aware that there might be further disruptions.

Barricades on Baxter Road were disrupting traffic, but CPS officers have removed the obstructions. Two protesters were arrested by members of the SAPS in connection with this unlawful action.

Groups of protesters are currently moving around campus and disrupting university activities. There have been incidents of vandalism reported and security services are attempting to contain the situation.

Read the campus announcement...


Groups of protesters are currently moving around campus and disrupting university activities.


The main library and the Law Library have been closed until further notice. Library staff are monitoring the situation.


The Jammie Shuttle service has been temporarily disrupted as a result of vandalism. Vehicle tyres were slashed with knives and one person has been arrested as a result. The university is working to resume the service as soon as possible. Staff and students are urged to make alternative arrangements to get to campus

Barricades have been placed on Baxter Road, which is causing some traffic disruptions. Campus Protection Services are on site monitoring the situation and are working to remove the obstructions.

Excrement has been poured in the Snape, Robert Leslie and Computer Science buildings. Cleaning teams have been arranged, but lectures may be delayed as a result. Course conveners will make alternative arrangements as required.

Test and exam venues are being protected, so tests and exams will go ahead as scheduled.

Go to the campus updates page.

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