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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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 with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.

Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.

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.


Campus communications


Adjusting to our new environment 16:50, 23 June 2022
VC Open Lecture and other updates 17:04, 13 April 2022
Feedback from UCT Council meeting of 12 March 2022 09:45, 18 March 2022
UCT Council
March 2022 graduation celebration 16:45, 8 March 2022
Report on the meeting of UCT Council of 21 February 2022 19:30, 21 February 2022
UCT Council
COVID-19 management 2022 11:55, 14 February 2022
Return to campus arrangements 2022 11:15, 4 February 2022

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

On Wednesday, 20 July, staff from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences came together with representatives from the Western Cape Government at the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence to acknowledge the centre’s significance in the fight against COVID-19 and to thank its staff for their contributions. The centre opened on 1 September 2021 with the aim of providing quality vaccination services to UCT staff, students and the nearby communities, as well as to create an opportunity for medical students from the Faculty of Health Sciences to gain practical public health skills. The vaccination centre ceased operations on Friday, 29 July 2022.

With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.


“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.

Thank You UCT Community

Frequently asked questions


Global Citizen Asks: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe & Effective?

UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) collaborated with Global Citizen, speaking to trusted experts to dispel vaccine misinformation.

If you have further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine check out the FAQ produced by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). The DTHF has developed a dedicated chat function where you can ask your vaccine-related questions on the bottom right hand corner of the website.

IDM YouTube channel | IDM website


“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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.