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


Frequently asked questions


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.

News and opinions

Campus communications



Media releases

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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.