VC’s awards deadline extension and other updates

05 October 2022

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) Excellence Awards nominations have been extended to 14 October. Staff are reminded of and urged to please make nominations. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Extension of VC’s Excellence Awards nominations
Staff are encouraged to apply or nominate colleagues for one of the VC’s Excellence Awards categories. The closing date has been extended to Friday, 14 October 2022.

The upcoming UCT Annual Awards, to be hosted next month, provide an opportunity for the university executive to show appreciation for teams or individuals who have gone over and above the line of duty to make a difference. The VC’s Excellence Awards will be made in the three categories: global citizenship, service excellence and transformation.

2. ICTS maintenance to impact UCT services on weekends in October and November

As part of the Upper Campus Data Centre Refurbishment project, the Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) department will perform important data centre maintenance on Saturday, 15 and Sunday, 16 October 2022, and again on Saturday, 19 and Sunday, 20 November 2022. This critical work aims to reduce the risk of loadshedding impacting services on the scale of recent incidents.

On each of those days, the slots will run from 08:00 to midnight. Vula, PeopleSoft, eduroam, and other services will be unavailable for the duration of the work, though UCT email and Microsoft services will remain unaffected.

3. Vice-Chancellor’s return to office

Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng requested to shorten her period of study and research leave and return to office. She resumed her duties from Wednesday, 5 October 2022. The VC is returning following the Chair of Council agreeing to the request. The Chair also expressed concern following developments at a recent Senate meeting, which will be reviewed at a Special Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday, 6 October 2022.

4. SWS mental health dialogues

In ongoing efforts to raise awareness and destigmatise mental health, Student Wellness Services (SWS) will host a number of exciting events and key conversations with students and mental health experts.

Students are invited to join SWS for a vibrant and moving experience session, including a fun walk/run, Zumba and yoga. There will also be various art activities, including painting and many more, on Sunday, 9 October 2022 at 15:30 at the Graca lawns on Lower Campus. On Monday, 10 and Thursday, 13 October, SWS invites students for a mental health dialogue from 17:00–18:30 at the New Learning Centre Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, Faculty of Health Sciences.

Join SWS in celebrating World Mental Health Awareness Month.

5. Student support services available through SWS

SWS has, like other operations within the university, been impacted by loadshedding. However, during loadshedding students can still be able to proceed with their face-to-face SWS appointments and access required support.

SWS has counselling offices at various UCT sites in all faculties, which operate from Monday to Friday, 08:30–16:30. Additionally, the Sports Centre Clinic provides a walk-in service for counselling and containment, which does not require a pre-booked appointment. It operates from Monday to Friday, 08:30–16:30.

Please direct all enquiries to the SWS practice manager at

6. Safety and security during power outages on campus

UCT’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) division has put together a useful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on safety and security during power outages. The FAQ touches on do’s and don’ts when using lifts; what happens to access controlled doors and power back up during power outages and other important things to note.

Should you require assistance during power outages, please contact Campus Protection Services (021 650 2222/080 650 2222) or OHS (021 650 0999).

Communication and Marketing Department

In July 2022, the University of Cape Town (UCT) revised its approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic on UCT campuses in 2022.
Read the latest document available on the UCT policies web page.

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