Five days of national mourning and other updates

25 November 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform the University of Cape Town community about recent developments on campus.

1. UCT heeds call for five days of national mourning

During his address to the nation on 11 November, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will observe five days of national mourning from 25 to 29 November. This is in recognition of all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, sexual and gender-based violence or femicide. In solidarity with the rest of the country, the UCT flag at Sarah Baartman Hall will fly at half-mast for the five days.

2. Honouring staff at UCT Annual Awards

On Wednesday, 2 December 2020, over 300 UCT staff members will be honoured and recognised for their hard work, dedication and exceptional efforts in the various categories at the UCT Annual Awards. These categories are the Ad Hominem Promotions, Alan Pifer Award, Distinguished Teacher Awards, Long Service Awards and VC Excellence Awards. The virtual event video will be available online at 18:00 and all are invited to join in.

3. Update on COVID-19 cases in the UCT community

UCT has 113 reported cases of COVID-19 among non-health sciences staff members, with 100 recoveries, as at 24 November 2020. The number of students who have tested positive for the virus is 59, which includes 16 Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The university has lost nine staff members and one student to the virus.

4. UCT’s commitment to broaden research assessment

The landscape of research and norms of research practice are changing. As UCT expands its links across Africa, deepens international research collaborations and diversifies research funding income, the university is made increasingly aware of new norms, both required and emerging. An important set of new norms is grouped under the umbrella of open science. Open science speaks directly to the values UCT strives to achieve in excellence, transformation and sustainability: addressing maximised inclusivity, equitable partnerships, transparency in decision-making and sharing of publicly funded science as a public good.

5. UCT responses to questions posed by staff

During the online staff assembly in October and over the past few weeks, staff members have posed questions to the university executive about ways of working during these uncertain times. To minimise risk of infection, staff are still encouraged to work from home if they can. Staff need to also discuss concerns and preferences with their relevant line manager, who needs to make the final decision about which staff functions can be completed remotely and which functions require a return to campus.

Responses are being loaded onto the webpage for frequently asked questions (FAQs) about UCT’s response to COVID-19 regularly as decisions are implemented. The executive is committed to keeping the lines of communication open. For questions that a line manager or the FAQ cannot address, staff are encouraged to email the relevant department Human Resources Business Partner.

6. Farewell to Dr Moonira Khan: ED DSA

Dr Moonira Khan, Executive Director: Department of Student Affairs (ED: DSA) is retiring on 31 December 2020 after 15 years of service to UCT. Under her leadership, DSA has achieved significant milestones. Her unwavering dedication to the wellbeing of UCT students has made Dr Khan’s input invaluable to the student experience. The university is grateful for her many years of exceptional service. Her determination and drive will be sincerely missed.

Communication and Marketing Department

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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

Friday, 18 December 11:30, 18 December 2020
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



New SRC and other updates 16:44, 4 November 2020
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


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.