Ongoing student engagement and Executive commitment

18 September 2019 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

I am pleased to report that since we recommenced the academic programme on Monday, 9 September 2019, the vast majority of UCT operations have been continuing successfully.

Thank you for your commitment to working hard in preparation for the final exam period in about five weeks’ time. Many of you have also expressed your wish to work in a calm atmosphere that is conducive to teaching, learning and delivering on work obligations.

There is an ongoing commitment, from the executive but also from many staff and students, to strengthen our response to sexual and gender-based violence as well as safety and security on campus. We are working hard at this.

Thank you to the Studentsʼ Representative Council (SRC) as well as several other student delegations who have presented a list of demands related to improving safety on campus. We have shared with the SRC what has already been implemented and what is in progress.

There are also individual students who have expressed concerns around these issues by writing to the executive, or at gatherings, or in direct conversation. Many feel unsafe and that is understandable. The executive shares many of these valid concerns.

We have tried to impress upon all the students we meet that we are committed to working through the issues. Much has been done already and we will continue to intensify our efforts in order to improve matters. We urge students to bring their concerns to the attention of the SRC who will engage with us so that we can collectively find the best solutions.

Late last week, members of the executive engaged with students around a list of demands that were formulated. We have agreed that the executive will respond to the additional demands by early this week. Yesterday, we gave feedback to the students and I am attaching the list of demands and our responses here for your information.

I assure the UCT community that we will never stop working with students and staff to find ways to make UCT stronger and better.

There are still some employees from companies that provide services to UCT who continue to protest on campus. See my previous communication in this regard. We have been clear that it is unacceptable for these non-UCT employees to disrupt our operations. We have considered our options and are dealing with the matter.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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