Five days of national mourning and other updates

25 November 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear students

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. Procrastination is not always laziness

As part of a campaign by the Student Wellness Service’s peer counsellors, the focus this week is on procrastination. The worst thing about procrastination is the guilt that follows. But procrastination is the outcome of another underlying feeling or anxiety. Identify the root of your procrastination and take steps to deal with it.

Follow the UCT Student Wellness Peer Counselling Service on Instagram to connect with a community that understands how you are feeling and can offer you professional and empathetic support. If you feel that you need to speak to someone, please book a session or call the SWS UCT Careline on 0800 24 25 26.

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. 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.

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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.