Completing the academic year and other updates

29 July 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear students

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

1. Guidelines on completing the 2020 academic year

In consultation with faculties and student representatives, the UCT executive has decided to finish the 2020 academic year using remote teaching. This decision, which implies a change in the academic calendar, has been approved by Senate and Council.

2. Update on COVID-19 cases

As at 28 July 2020, UCT has a total of 102 reported COVID-19 cases. The number of infected non-health sciences staff members is 77, of which 57 have recovered. The reported number of student cases is 25, which includes eight Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. There have sadly been 10 deaths in the UCT community – nine staff members and one student.

3. Student Wellness hosting compulsory weekly webinars

Student Wellness Service (SWS) is hosting compulsory webinars for the limited number of students invited to return to campus. The next sessions are scheduled for 4, 11, 18 and 25 August from 11:00 to 12:00. These webinars include presentations on how COVID-19 spreads, how to properly wear a mask, basic prevention measures, screening avenues available to students, as well as the link between mental health and COVID-19. A Q&A session in each webinar will provide students with a platform to get any of the issues they may have, addressed by panellists. Pre-registration is not required.

4. Support for students

The university is aware that some students may be having challenges coping during this period of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For students who require support, the UCT Student Care Line provides 24-hour telephonic counselling and can be accessed by calling 0800 242 526 (free from a Telkom line) or sending an SMS to 31393 for a call back.

SWS also offers a range of counselling services to students (read the SWS flyer on services that are available to students away from campus) and bookings can be made online, via email or on the UCT mobile app.

Students can:

For other student health queries, students can book a medical advisory telephonic consultation online for medical advice or phone 021 650 5620. Please note that these calls are not consultations. Students can also book online for a consultation with a clinical nurse practitioner, who will call back at the appointed time.

To find out more about UCT support during COVID-19, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

5. Appointment of executive director: research

Dr Linda Mtwisha has been appointed as the new executive director of research at UCT with effect from 1 October 2020. She joins UCT from the University of Johannesburg, where she is the senior director of strategic initiatives and administration.


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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 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.

In July 2022, the University of Cape Town (UCT) revised its approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic on UCT campuses in 2022.
Read the latest document available on the UCT policies web page.


Campus communications


Adjusting to our new environment 16:50, 23 June 2022
VC Open Lecture and other updates 17:04, 13 April 2022
Feedback from UCT Council meeting of 12 March 2022 09:45, 18 March 2022
Chair of Council
March 2022 graduation celebration 16:45, 8 March 2022
Report on the meeting of UCT Council of 21 February 2022 19:30, 21 February 2022
Chair of Council
COVID-19 management 2022 11:55, 14 February 2022
Return to campus arrangements 2022 11:15, 4 February 2022

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

On Wednesday, 20 July, staff from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences came together with representatives from the Western Cape Government at the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence to acknowledge the centre’s significance in the fight against COVID-19 and to thank its staff for their contributions. The centre opened on 1 September 2021 with the aim of providing quality vaccination services to UCT staff, students and the nearby communities, as well as to create an opportunity for medical students from the Faculty of Health Sciences to gain practical public health skills. The vaccination centre ceased operations on Friday, 29 July 2022.

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.


“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.

Thank You UCT Community

Frequently asked questions


Global Citizen Asks: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe & Effective?

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.

IDM YouTube channel | IDM 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.