Dear students and colleagues
As we continue with this important week of orientation into online learning at the University of Cape Town, (UCT), I am writing to inform you about the pre-paid data that is now available to all UCT students who have valid South African cell numbers (according to UCT records in PeopleSoft). Some of you may have seen information about this in the media but it is important for me to communicate the full details with you.
If you are a student and your South African mobile number is not recorded on UCT’s PeopleSoft system, please log on to PeopleSoft and provide your mobile number immediately.
Cell C, Telkom and Vodacom have now all agreed to zero rate access to certain UCT sites. We are still in negotiation with MTN and hope to finalise this implementation shortly. I want to again express appreciation, on behalf of UCT, to each of these companies for this important expression of support to UCT students as we embark on this period of online learning.
Zero rating will apply to the following UCT websites:
In addition, Telkom and Cell C have zero rated Open UCT (reachable at http://open.uct.ac.za or https://open.uct.ac.za) and Vodacom has zero rated UCT News (reachable at http://news.uct.ac.za and https://news.uct.ac.za) and UCT open access journals (reachable at http://journals.uct.ac.za and https://journals.uct.ac.za)
It is important to note that even though authentication itself, via adfs.uct.ac.za, is zero rated, should staff or students be authenticating to a site other than the ones listed above as zero rated (such as LinkedIn Learning, for instance) that site will incur data charges.
In addition to the zero rating agreements, UCT has purchased a data bundle for each student with a valid South African cell number. Each student will receive 30-40 gigabytes (GB) depending on their network provider, valid for 30 days, during the next week. These agreements were negotiated separately with each service provider and students have started receiving data bundles as from Monday, 21 April. The details are summarised below.
Cell C: 30GB for a month after it is provisioned: 10GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of Cell C’s Nite Data offering from 00:00 to 05:00.
MTN: 30GB for a month after it is provisioned: 10GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of MTN’s Night Express offering from 00:01 to 04:59.
Telkom: 40GB for a month after it is provisioned: 20GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of Telkom’s Night Surfer offering from 00:00 to 07:00.
Vodacom: 30GB for a month after it is provisioned: 10GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of Vodacom’s Night Owl offering from 00:00 to 05:00.
These pre-paid data bundles and the agreements for zero rated access to UCT websites are an important part of the effort UCT staff members are putting into the programme for online learning at UCT. On behalf of the university, I wish each student success with online learning.
We know that online learning may not be available to every UCT student. UCT is setting up an additional system to distribute printed learning materials and USB drives for students who cannot access the internet in any form. When it is safe to return to campus, students who were not able to study online, as well as other students who feel they have fallen behind in their studies, will be able to catch up through a programme of blended learning combined with face-to-face teaching.
Please contact your faculty advisor or department via Vula if you have any questions about online learning, receiving printed learning materials and USB drives, or other study needs during this time. For technical questions you can also contact the Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) Helpdesk by emailing email@example.com or phoning 021 650 4500 during office hours.
I wish you continued health and safety during this difficult time.
With kind regards,
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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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.
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.
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 Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00. Please allow time for attending to COVID-19 protocols and arrive as early as possible at the vaccination centre.
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.