As Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng announced last week, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is providing data bundles for all students who have a valid South African mobile number recorded in PeopleSoft. If you need a data bundle and have not updated PeopleSoft with your South African mobile number, please do so now.
These data bundles do come at a cost to UCT and they are valid for only 30 days. However, we face the strong possibility that online learning will need to continue beyond that 30-day period.
We are aware that some of you already have adequate internet access at home to study effectively. This is based on the survey UCT students recently completed. I am writing to ask those of you who have sufficient internet access to consider opting out of receiving a data bundle so that we can focus UCT resources on helping students in need.
We know that UCT students have already taken up this call. The Health Sciences Students Council and the Law Students Council have both issued similar appeals to students across their respective faculties. Each of those initiatives uses a different system. We applaud the compassion and solidarity that is at the heart of these appeals. It is with this spirit of social solidarity in mind that I ask you to use the “opt out” option provided below, as that will allow you to not only assist another student, but also to help the university to gauge the need across the institution so we can plan more effectively for possible future needs. To opt out, please follow the link below, navigate to the Biographic tab and select “No” under the “Mobile Data required” section.
COVID-19 has created a crisis that everybody around the world is experiencing in different ways. I am encouraged by the creative responses different members of the UCT community are making to help each other through this difficult experience. I thank you for everything you are doing to help during these times.
Dr Reno Morar
Chief Operating Officer
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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 has recently been extended to 30 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.
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.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
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.