Discussion on student voices and other updates

30 September 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear students

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

1. Panel discussion on student voices and actions

The Department of Student Affairs will present a panel discussion on Thursday, 1 October at 17:00 titled “Student voices and actions: What does the future world look like?”. The discussion will be moderated by Rekgotsofetse Chikane, author of "Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation: The Politics Behind the #MustFall Movements", and includes speakers from Ghana, Namibia, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The event will be co-hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation, Professor Loretta Feris and Students’ Representative Council President, Akha Tutu.

2. COVID-19 cases update

The university has not had any new reported COVID-19 cases since the last weekly update. As at 29 September, the reported cases among non-health sciences staff remains at 101, while recoveries increased to 90. The number of reported students’ cases is still 36, including 10 health sciences students on clinical platforms. The number of staff and students sadly lost to the pandemic remains nine and one respectively.

3. Reminder: AFC virtual dialogue and debate

A reminder that the Chair of the Academic Freedom Committee, Professor Elelwani Ramugondo, invites staff and students to a virtual dialogue and debate titled “Can research be harmful and if so, what does this mean for academic freedom?”. The event will be held on Wednesday, 30 September from 17:00 to18:30 via Microsoft Teams.

The dialogue and debate will be moderated by Professor Pierre de Vos and panellists will include Professor Ambroise Wonkam (Division of Human Genetics), Associate Professor Kelley Moult (Department of Public Law), Dr George Hull (Department of Philosophy) and Professor Marc Blockman (Division of Clinical Pharmacology).

The event will include an interactive question and answer session. Join this important dialogue and debate, it is open to all.

4. Reminder: Inaugural Lecture by Professor Hussein Suleman

Professor Hussein Suleman will present the next virtual Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture titled “Computer Science at times of crisis: reflecting on societal drivers for software and algorithm design”. It will take place on Wednesday, 30 September 2020 at 18:00 via Microsoft Teams.

5. Applications for The Pitch UCT 2020 are open

The Pitch is an annual developmental space for students to showcase their entrepreneurial innovation and pitch their business ideas to a panel of four high-profile judges. Applications are open, and students are encouraged to showcase their entrepreneurial prowess for a chance to win up to R25 000 and six months of mentoring. Applications close Friday, 2 October 2020.

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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 regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.


Frequently asked questions


Commemorating a year of COVID-19

At midnight on 26 March 2020, South Africa went into the first nationwide hard lockdown. A year later, we remember those who have died and those who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic’s effects across society and campus. We are especially grateful for the front-line health workers who have done so much for so many.

News and opinions

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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.