In light of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent suspension of classes, the Daniel Samuel Maseko Memorial Scholarship has donated funds to students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) who are in financial need in order for these students to make their way back home.
Dudley Maseko, on behalf of the Daniel Samuel Maseko Memorial Scholarship, has donated US$6 000 (approximately R100 000) to UCT to be distributed among 24 students from the Southern African Development Community countries of Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe who are most desperate for financial assistance to get back home.
This funding is open to UCT students from any faculty.
Students in need should urgently contact UCT’s Financial Aid Office with proof of their financial situation and proof of transportation costs.
“I wish all the students safe travels back home to be with their families, and [wish for them to] stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak,” Maseko said.
Measures put in place
A number of measures have already been put in place by the university to support students as they vacate the residences.
Undergraduates and postgraduates on financial aid – including NSFAS funded-students – received their allowances on 16 March. This will assist any students who may be facing financial challenges with arranging transport.
UCT is also working with external agencies on possible travel solutions for students where there is a need. This may entail students being assisted with travel arrangements, or group travel being organised for departures from campus.
The university is further working with the government through the Department of Home Affairs to assist international students who have to travel home.
UCT has at this stage had only one confirmed positive COVID-19 case. The number of people that the staff member had contact with on campus is estimated at 30 or fewer. The staff member and all the UCT contacts who have been traced will remain in self isolation for 14 days. The process is being managed by the Western Cape Department of Health.
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and is currently scheduled until 16 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
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.
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.