Managing the COVID-19 pandemic on UCT campuses in 2021 and 2022

14 December 2021 | Dr Reno Morar, COO

Dear Leadership Lekgotla colleagues

As we draw towards the end of 2021, I realise many colleagues and students may have questions about what 2022 at the University of Cape Town (UCT) will look like in relation to our management of COVID-19 related issues.

As you know, at our Leadership Lekgotla (LL) meeting on 22 November 2021, we discussed the approach to returning colleagues and students to UCT campuses. I am writing to highlight particularly to all members of the LL that Deans, Executive Directors and Heads of Units may develop Return to Campus plans that are ‘fit for purpose’ and specific for the faculty, department or unit concerned.

I urge faculty and departmental leadership to encourage line managers to use the updated Managing the COVID-19 pandemic on UCT campuses 2021-2022 as a guide in making the critical decisions relating to staff and students returning to campuses and offices.

As the Vice-Chancellor and the Executive members indicated in the 22 November 2021 Leadership Lekgotla meeting, there is significant discretion that Deans, Executive Directors, and other line managers can and must exercise in making decisions that work for your specific area. No central decision can be made that will be applicable to the entire university.

It remains important that colleagues and students follow the necessary health and safety protocols when returning to campuses and offices. Line managers must continue to ensure operational delivery whilst balancing the health and safety needs of staff and students. As previously communicated, we are committed to returning our campus to be as open as possible, as noted by my colleagues, Associate Professor Lis Lange and Professor Sue Harrison.

Decisions should enable the return of as many staff and students to full operations as far as possible. Line managers have the discretion to plan for colleagues and students to be physically present on campus and adhere to the necessary health and safety protocols and guidelines. It is for each manager to determine their specific work needs and requirements, in full consultation with the faculty or departmental leadership.

We must continue to follow the relevant Disaster Management Act prescripts and directives and the health and safety protocols such as safe physical distancing, wearing of masks, hand washing or sanitising.


Dr Reno Morar
Chief Operating Officer

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