How UCT is moving to Lockdown Level One to support your student

25 September 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear parents, fee payers and sponsors

The shift to Lockdown Level One from midnight on Sunday, 20 September 2020, combined with the phased return of some students and staff members to campus, has raised questions about the possible effect on the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Our foremost priority is the health and safety of every person who enters campus property. For this reason, only those who have received written invitations and letters of authorisation may return.

We have asked everyone on our campus – staff members and students – to help each other to follow the basic rules for reducing the chance of spreading infection, and we ask you to encourage your student to follow these protocols:

  • Wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times when not in a private space and upon arrival on campus.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5m from other people on campus.
  • Regularly wash or sanitise hands (sanitisers are available across campus).

Everyone who returns to campus at this time will need to observe all public health and safety protocols.

UCT’s COVID-19 Coordinating Committee, under the leadership of Dr Reno Morar, has prepared guidelines on the health and safety protocols, useful information about returning to campus and a list of contacts for things like getting health advice or counselling. Please encourage your student to keep this document handy.

Students can only return to residence if they have received an invitation to do so, and may only arrive on the date specified in that invitation. Students need to exercise individual accountability in complying with the obligatory public health safety measures listed above, to protect their own health and that of the UCT community.

Catering operations will resume from 1 October 2020 for students who have meal plan options. Students undergoing compulsory quarantine can collect daily meal packs at a designated point within their residence during quarantine. Students will only be allowed in the dining halls once they are operating, and after students have completed their compulsory quarantine. Students must comply with dining hall protocols.

Cleaning materials and refuse bags will be provided to residence students to freshen up their rooms and dispose of refuse. Students will remain responsible for their own room hygiene.

As a campus community, we are relying on our students and staff to take personal responsibility to follow these protocols and to remind each other if someone happens to forget them. Because these protocols are so important, there is also a legal responsibility to follow them. In adhering to these protocols, we are fulfilling our part of the collective community responsibility to help protect people from the impact of this pandemic. We are jointly responsible for protecting all students, staff and visitors to UCT, including their loved ones at home. We are responsible for each other and UCT will take the required action against any breach of these protocols.

I urge you to read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about UCT’s response to COVID-19. We will continue to update the FAQs as new information becomes available.

It is important to remember what President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “By any measure, we are still in the midst of a deadly epidemic. Our greatest challenge now – and our most important task – is to ensure that we do not experience a new surge in infections.”

Because we are a campus community, it is important to watch out for each other. We do this by each taking personal responsibility to follow the protocols during this COVID-19 pandemic, as well as helping others to be compliant with the protocols. Thank you for paying attention to these rules and helping your student to follow them.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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