UCT heeds call for five days of national mourning

19 November 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

Since we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic early this year, we have lost many lives to the virus. Thousands of people have passed on countrywide and, at the University of Cape Town (UCT), we have sadly lost nine staff members and one student. These are not just lives. These are family, friends, colleagues and close loved ones. At this point, almost eight months into the lockdown, it is possible that each one of us has lost a close one to the virus.

While COVID-19 continues to be a daily reality, another plague has been continuing in our communities. Many of our sisters, children, wives, partners, family and friends have continued to suffer through acts of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), with some having sadly lost their lives to these brutal acts.

These acts are unjustifiable and as a university we always have and will continue to condemn them in the strongest possible way. We will continue to do what we can to support survivors and encourage them to speak out against this SGBV scourge.

Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on Wednesday, 11 November, our flag at the Sarah Baartman Hall will fly at half-mast as we, along with the rest of the country, observe the five days of national mourning from 25 to 29 November 2020.

During this time, we will remember those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, sexual and gender-based violence or femicide. We will also signal our solidarity with the SGBV survivors. We stand with you.

Yours in solidarity

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

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.

Thank You UCT Community

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

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

The University of Cape Town in partnership with the Western Cape Government (WCG) have reinforced our commitment to bringing hope to the residents of the Mother City with the launch of the world‑class Community of Hope Vaccination Centre that opened its doors on Monday, 30 August 2021.

The site is located on Main Road in Mowbray – in the Forest Hill Residence – and access is from Broad Street. The site is open every Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00. Please allow time for attending to COVID-19 protocols and arrive as early as possible at the vaccination centre.

Frequently asked questions


News and views

Campus communications



Media releases

Read more  

UCT statements related to COVID-19 vaccinations

This is a space created for all formal bodies and structures within the university community to share their opinions on the need for a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. Please note that some editorial judgement may be applied if the received statements go against any constitutional rights, and that no correspondence will be entered into, statements will be posted unedited and as received. Statements can be sent to opinions@uct.ac.za.


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.

#UCTCOVIDPledge – social media elements

Customised Facebook frames and Instagram stickers are now available on those social media platforms. Watch the tutorial videos here to see how easily you can show your support for the #UCTCOVIDPledge.


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.