Fire affecting the Rondebosch campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT)

18 April 2021 | Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear students and colleagues

I hope you are safe and well under these frightening circumstances.

In light of the fire affecting the Rondebosch campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the impact this is having on the university’s buildings as well as the evacuation of residences, all academic activities will be suspended tomorrow and on Tuesday.

No classes, tutorials, laboratory work or tests will take place on Monday, 19 April or Tuesday, 20 April. We will assess the situation and provide further updates before midday on Tuesday.

The safety of students and staff is paramount. For safety reasons, campus will be locked down and no one, other than emergency services, will be allowed access. We are all anxious about the extent of the damage to the Rondebosch campus. We will provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.

Food and emergency accommodation have been arranged for all the students who had to be evacuated earlier today. The necessary arrangements have also been made to accommodate our Muslim students. Food will be prepared at Old Mutual’s offices in Pinelands, Cape Town and from there it will be distributed to the locations where we are accommodating our students. The public have been asked to donate any essential items and food which they may wish to contribute at Old Mutual West Campus, 91 Jan Smuts Road, Pinelands, Cape Town. The site will be open until 23:00 tonight, Sunday, 18 April, and will re-open at 06:00 tomorrow morning, Monday, 19 April.

We are, of course, deeply concerned about the shock and fear that may have been experienced by students and staff. If you would like to contact a counsellor, the following services are standing by for you on a toll-free phone line:

  • SA Depression and Anxiety Group: 080 024 2526
  • ICAS: 080 111 3945

UCT is deeply grateful to all the donors who have come forward to supply food and other essential items for our students today, and to everyone who has so generously offered other forms of support and assistance.

We thank all emergency services support staff who have worked with the University, City of Cape Town and SANParks thus far. Our thoughts are especially with the incredible fire fighters at this time. We wish them strength and endurance as they work tirelessly to extinguish this devastating fire.

#UCTFire emergency relief fund

Everyone who would like to support the #UCTFire emergency relief fund is urged to please send financial donations to:

Account name: UCT Donations Account
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
Branch code: Rondebosch Branch, 025009
Account number: 07 152 2387
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ

Please include your donor name if you so wish, as well as the reference for your donation, e.g. Name Surname, #UCTFire.

Please monitor the UCT website for further updates.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves and each other.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Please note: Donations can be made online through the UCT Alumni Ways to Give web page.
Updated: 13:30, 19 April

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