New UCT Council and other updates

15 July 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.

1. New UCT Council for the 2020/2024 term

The new university Council officially started its term on 1 July 2020 and will be in office until 30 June 2024. Ms Babalwa Ngonyama has been elected as the chair of Council, and Ms Nazeema Mohamed as deputy chair. This is the first time that both positions are simultaneously occupied by women.

2. Weekly COVID-19 update

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases within the UCT community stood at 84 as at 14 July 2020. This includes 64 non-health sciences staff members and 20 students, of which five are Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. A reported 40 staff members have recovered (recoveries for students are not included as not all cases are managed by the Department of Student Affairs). Regretfully, six deaths have been reported – five staff and one student. UCT has reached out to all the staff and students who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Chris Hani redevelopment project underway

The Chris Hani redevelopment project project (formerly New Science Lecture Theatre) has begun, with the site handed over to the construction company on Monday, 6 July 2020. The project is earmarked for completion at the end of October 2021. Construction will take place under challenging conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the contractor will ensure that all safety measures on site are in place.

For the physical safety of all staff, students and visitors to campus, all construction operations and activities will be carried out within the cordoned off area to limit the risk of injury. Students, staff and occupants of surrounding buildings who will be impacted by construction site operations will be timeously informed of any additional disruptive work. The contractor will endeavour to keep disruptions to a minimum.

4. Upcoming virtual events

UCT has a number of virtual events scheduled to take place over the next few weeks. These include annual events on the UCT calendar such as the Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture, the VC Inaugural Lecture series, the TB Davie Memorial Lecture and the Women’s Month commemoration event. It also includes events such as the #NewGlobalUni series and the Vision 2030 staff engagements.

5. Completing your academic courses during 2020

The university is aware that many students, through no fault of their own, are unable to complete their work as planned. General guidelines to deal with this situation have been shared – with specific reference to first semester work, clinical courses, courses in performing and creative arts, and engineering, first semester exams and deferred exams. Within the framework of these guidelines each faculty will communicate its specific arrangements to their students.

6. Ensuring sustained research excellence at UCT

The 2019 Report on Research to Senate and Council outlines the practical details of what UCT is doing to ensure that its research remains relevant, innovative and excellent, and outlines UCT’s research portfolio, including the research strategy and how it is being implemented. While it records the goals and successes, it also acknowledges areas of risk and targets that have not yet been reached.

7. UCT Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Study

In 2018 the UCT Leadership Lekgotla endorsed a project aimed at supporting the growth of entrepreneurship at the university – the UCT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project. As a first step, the project steering committee commissioned a qualitative research study in 2019 to map UCT’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. A summary of the key findings of this report is now available. Having a good understanding of the ecosystem will allow the institution to better support its diverse entrepreneurship offerings to both students and staff.


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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 and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.

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.

Frequently asked questions


Daily updates

Thursday, 19 November 09:30, 19 November 2020
Friday, 13 November 12:40, 13 November 2020
Friday, 16 October 10:05, 16 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 12:50, 14 October 2020
Tuesday, 22 September 14:10, 22 September 2020
Friday, 11 September 10:05, 11 September 2020
Monday, 31 August 12:20, 31 August 2020
Wednesday, 12 August 10:20, 12 August 2020
Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
Thursday, 6 August 18:26, 6 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

Campus communications

Virtual graduation ceremonies 13:30, 21 October 2020
Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020


Video messages from the Department of Medicine

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.

Useful information from UCT

External resources

News and opinions

Statements and media releases

Media releases

Read more  

Statements from Government


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.