Monday, 16 March

16 March 2020


Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng has written to parents and supporters of UCT students.

Read the VC’s letter to parents


Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday evening, and on the advice of a range of agencies and health specialists, the University of Cape Town (UCT) executive and the Leadership Lekgotla decided to break immediately for UCT’s Term 1 vacation.

Physical classes have been suspended from Monday, 16 March, and students in residences have been given 72 hours to vacate their accommodation. While postgraduate students have been advised to continue working with their supervisors, undergraduate teaching and learning will largely be moved online. Details on this will follow in the week ahead. 

While off-site work has been encouraged, essential services will continue on campus.

All non-essential gatherings must be minimised, cancelled or postponed until the end of June 2020. The chancellor’s installation scheduled for Monday, 16 March, has been postponed, and the March graduation ceremonies, due to start on Thursday, 19 March, have been suspended. The Registrar’s Office will send details to graduands about how they can receive their graduation certificates.

UCT’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed yesterday. The staff member is in isolation at home. Please note that it is critical that we refrain as a community from stigmatising individuals that are affected. In addition, please do not spread rumours or unconfirmed information.

Read the VC Desk.

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UCT’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020.

UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.

Thank You UCT Community

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

The University of Cape Town in partnership with the Western Cape Government (WCG) have reinforced our commitment to bringing hope to the residents of the Mother City with the launch of the world‑class Community of Hope Vaccination Centre that opened its doors on Monday, 30 August 2021.
The site is located on Main Road in Mowbray – in the Forest Hill Residence – and access is from Broad Street. The site is open every day: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00.

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UCT statements related to COVID-19 vaccinations

This is a space created for all formal bodies and structures within the university community to share their opinions on the need for a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. Please note that some editorial judgement may be applied if the received statements go against any constitutional rights, and that no correspondence will be entered into, statements will be posted unedited and as received. Statements can be sent to


Commemorating a year of COVID-19

At midnight on 26 March 2020, South Africa went into the first nationwide hard lockdown. A year later, we remember those who have died and those who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic’s effects across society and campus. We are especially grateful for the front-line health workers who have done so much for so many.

#UCTCOVIDPledge – social media elements

Customised Facebook frames and Instagram stickers are now available on those social media platforms. Watch the tutorial videos here to see how easily you can show your support for the #UCTCOVIDPledge.


In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”


We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.