Council dealing with matters affecting UCT

18 February 2023

Dear members of the UCT community

Over the past weeks, your attention must have undoubtedly been drawn to the various concerning developments unfolding at our beloved university. These include industrial relations issues with the Academics Union and Employees Union, the instability within the executive team and presently students issues. These developments have caused instability at the university. This is not how we envisaged 2023 beginning. We expected the university to return to a level of normalcy.

Whilst we seek solutions to student grievances over fee blocks and accommodation, we require the academic project to continue uninterrupted. We have secured an interdict to protect students and staff from disruptions and threats of violence. Any such act will be illegal and perpetrators will face the might of law. We had to act swiftly and decisively to restore calm and confidence in our university. Academic activities should commence uninterrupted on Monday, 20 February 2023.

Council met on Thursday, 9 February 2023, to discuss issues around the Vice-Chancellor and the instability of the executive team and took certain resolutions. We have scheduled a meeting early next week to thoroughly and thoughtfully consider options and potential resolutions, after which we will report back to you with the way forward. We do not want to pre-empt any outcome.

We are fully aware of the urgency of dealing with all matters affecting the university and are engaged on all of them. I urge you to give Council the time and space to deal properly with these complex issues in the best interest of UCT.

We have been challenged and tested in the past, and our resilience and commitment to our vision enabled us to transcend and overcome these challenges. We are a leading institution today because of the uncharted roads we have chosen to take. The road behind us and ahead is filled with speed bumps, it will not be a painless journey but it will be a necessary one. Let us retain hope for our future.

I will report back to you before the end of the week starting 19 February 2023.


Babalwa Ngonyama, CA (SA), MBA
Chair of UCT Council

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