UCT attains a level 4 B-BBEE status

22 March 2022 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

It gives me great pleasure to officially announce that five years after the University of Cape Town (UCT) was ruled as B-BBEE non-compliant, the university has moved up the ranks to become one of the top three B-BBEE compliant universities in South Africa.

The fact that UCT achieved a level 4 B-BBEE status and managed to maintain that status in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates UCT’s commitment to transformation. It has not been easy. Dismantling inequality and redressing injustices of the past – an undertaking on both our Employment Equity Policy and finance policies aligned to the country’s Broad Based Black Empowerment Act – can never be an easy task; but it had to be done.

We continue to work hard so that everyone, including the previously marginalised, is given equal opportunities to participate meaningfully in the economy of this country. So, I am grateful to all our UCT community members who played their part to ensure that we move from a B-BBEE level 7 status in 2015 and 2016, to a level 4 status in 2020 and 2021.

A level 4 status is testament to our unwavering commitment to the Vision 2030 project, which is anchored by the three pillars of excellence, transformation and sustainability. As a top-ranking university in Africa and one of the best in the world, excellence is important to us and we pursue it with passion. Research and teaching have long been the cornerstone of excellence at UCT and a level 4 B-BBEE status improves our chances of successfully partnering with the private sector and government. This status will open up new opportunities for UCT’s collaboration with industry, particularly in research, human resources and skills development. A level 4 B-BBEE status will also help keep us at the top in terms of ground-breaking research projects that are not only beneficial to South Africans and the continent, but to the global community as well.

Other than research grants, I believe our graduates will also learn from the exemplary leadership of this university to strive to excel in all areas, including governance, so they go out emboldened to be advocates of social change and prioritise accountability in industries they will lead one day. As a university in South Africa, we are governed by the laws of this country, and we are required by law to ensure that a certain amount of our spending is directed to B-BBEE vendors.

At UCT, we believe that true transformation and sustainability reaches further than simply ensuring financial sustainability. It includes environmental sustainability and strives to build deeper relationships with the UCT stakeholder community to ensure involvement in and commitment to the future of the university. It asks us to engage with local communities and make a significant difference in the lives of the people who make up our society. It is for that reason that we took seriously the task of not only transforming UCT internally, but transforming communities around us as well, empowering them by ensuring their meaningful participation in the South African economy.

I extend my gratitude to those vendors who have not only come on board to provide services but, brought with them their willingness to support us on this journey of excellence, transformation and sustainability. I thank colleagues who do the checks for us to ensure that we are on track to living what we say and to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’.

I invite you to watch a video about this important milestone:


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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