Free resources for lockdown

16 April 2020 | Story Carla Bernardo. Read time 6 min.
There are plenty of free online resources to keep you going through the lockdown. <strong>Photo</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Pexels</a>.
There are plenty of free online resources to keep you going through the lockdown. Photo Pexels.

With the nationwide lockdown extended by another two weeks, you may be wondering how you’ll keep yourself and your loved ones informed and entertained. You may be looking for a new fitness regime, to pick up a skill or wonder who the best sources are to follow for credible updates on the pandemic. If you have any of these concerns, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

We’ve trawled the web and put together a list of free resources – as long as you have a working internet connection and data – from authorities such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization, Google, the South African government and, of course, the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Your child’s education

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has numerous resources for parents, caregivers and learners to support learning at home.

Many fitness and wellness influencers are sharing routines on their personal social media accounts. Photo Pexels.

Health and well-being

  • Reduce stress and anxiety with guided mediation and yoga, provided by the UN.
  • Keep fit with lockdown fitness tutorials from the South African government or follow any of your favourite fitness influencers on their social media platforms.
  • Find help and further information about mental health on websites such as The South African Depression and Anxiety Group, 7 Cups, LifeLine and the Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions.
  • UCT students are encouraged to make use of the Student Wellness Service (SWS) on 021 650 5620 (office hours) and 021 650 1271 (after hours). UCT staff can make use of the SWS on 021 650 5685.
  • If you’re a staff member, you and your family can also contact the Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS) in one of the following ways: through the all-new ICAS On-the-Go app, asking for a call back by using *134*905#, emailing  or calling 080 111 3945.

Learn a new skill

You can pick up a new skill with one of the countless massive open online courses (MOOCs) available from UCT and other universities from around the world. You can access and enrol for many MOOCs for free through options such as:

You can also upskill through Google’s Skillshop or Digital Skills for Africa.

If you’re a student, take advantage of the free online resources from UCT Libraries and digital libraries such as JStor and Cambridge University Press. Be sure to check out the National Emergency Library.

Stay informed

It’s important that you have access to the right information. For that reason, we suggest you keep an eye on the following websites for the latest on the pandemic:

There are plenty of ways to stay entertained and to keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown.Photo Pexels.

Stay entertained

There are plenty of ways to stay entertained and to keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown. As a start, we suggest the following:

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Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

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 and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.

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.

Frequently asked questions


Daily updates

Friday, 16 October 10:05, 16 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 12:50, 14 October 2020
Tuesday, 22 September 14:10, 22 September 2020
Friday, 11 September 10:05, 11 September 2020
Monday, 31 August 12:20, 31 August 2020
Wednesday, 12 August 10:20, 12 August 2020
Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
Thursday, 6 August 18:26, 6 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

Campus communications

Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020


Video messages from the Department of Medicine

Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19

The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.

To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.

Useful information from UCT

External resources

News and opinions

Statements and media releases

Media releases

Read more  

Statements from Government


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.