Dear colleagues and students
Africa Day, commemorated each year on 25 May, is a very important day on the University of Cape Town (UCT) calendar – even more so this year, under the unusual conditions we face as a result of COVID-19. Now more than ever, Africans need to take up the challenges we share with each other and the world, and apply our creativity and experience to help develop solutions.
In this spirit, the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in collaboration with UCT Convocation and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance (NMSPG), 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.
Each panel of Pan-African experts will focus on responses by African countries to the COVID-19 pandemic, in relation to governance and development. They will explore the actions required to fulfil African shared values and principles.
Panellists include Seyni Nafo of Mali, Africa’s spokesperson at the 2015 Paris climate talks; Bulelwa Ngewana, Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa; Professor Eddy Maloka, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM; Professor Carlos Lopes of the NMSPG; Dr Mosoka Fallah, Deputy Director-General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia; Carl Manlan, Chief Operating Officer of the EcoBank Foundation; Bongiwe Mlangeni, CEO of the Social Justice Initiative; and Saliem Fakir, Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation.
These discussions are important for all of us. Your questions and observations will contribute to our perspectives on each topic. So I encourage you to engage with these panellists even if you can only do so in one or two sessions.
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 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.
“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.
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.
“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.