This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Invitation to join important Africa Day webinars
In commemorating Africa Month, the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in collaboration with UCT Convocation and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance will host a three-day Africa Month public symposium under the theme “Africa’s innovations in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic”. From Wednesday, 27 May to Friday, 29 May 2020, five webinars will discuss – among others – knowledge systems and knowledge production on the continent, best practice examples in Africa, the climate change and development nexus in Africa, Pan-African reflections on leadership and good governance during COVID-19, and COVID-19 philanthropy on the continent.
2. Staff assembly videos
In a special online staff assembly hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng on Thursday 14 May, the UCT executive addressed staff on the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Phakeng commended staff members for their hard work and commitment, through which a new kind of UCT is emerging from this pandemic. Chief Operating Officer, Dr Reno Morar spoke on the planning for a phased return of staff, the risks and mitigation strategy, and human resources and financial issues.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange provided an update on the academic project. DVC for Transformation, Professor Loretta Feris spoke on student support and particularly the management of the phased return of students, and the reopening of residences; while DVC for Research and Internationalisation, Professor Sue Harrison, reflected on research and postgraduate issues.
The Registrar, Royston Pillay addressed issues relating to governance, 2020 exams and 2021 admissions; and the Executive Director: Finance, Ashley Francis discussed the university’s financial state and sustainability.
3. Election of a PASS staff Council member
As advised previously, the election to Council of a member of the professional, administrative support and service (PASS) staff in payclasses 7-13 was suspended. This followed the discovery of an inadvertent omission of staff members in the payclass 13 (4 and 5) cohort from the initial call for nominations.
Notwithstanding the suspension of the process, nominations that had been received up to that point remained valid. No additional nominations from members of the payclass 13 staff were received in response to an invitation to do so by the deadline of 13 May 2020. Members of the PASS staff in payclasses 7-13 are invited to elect one of the three candidates whose nomination had been previously submitted.
Please log into Vula with your UCT user credentials and select the “COUNCIL: PASS Election” tab. The candidates’ statements of intent and abbreviated CVs are available on the “Resources” page of the site. Vote for the candidate of your choice by clicking on the question on the “Poll” page.
Voting is now open and will close at 16:00 on Friday, 22 May 2020.
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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.