UCT preparedness for the new Level Three Lockdown regulations and other updates

14 January 2021 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues

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

1. UCT preparedness for the new Level Three Lockdown regulation

There has been a marked increase in COVID-19 infections, hospital admissions and deaths across the country. President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced adjusted Lockdown Level Three regulations. The adjusted regulations, published on 11 January, include new curfew hours from 21:00 to 05:00 and closure of all land ports of entry until 15 February 2021.

To comply with the adjusted Lockdown Level Three, the university has in place all the necessary procedures and protocols. Under Lockdown Level Three, UCT will continue to operate as a low-density campus that relies on physically distanced learning (PDL) in the first semester of 2021, which will start on 15 March 2021.

The university’s preparations for Lockdown Level Three and for the first semester of 2021 are in line with international guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. All students and staff members will be required to produce their letters of authority, as well as evidence that they have completed the Higher Health Check app for COVID symptoms, in order to access campuses.

2. The Distinguished Teacher Award 2020 – call for nominations

Students and members of the academic staff are hereby invited to submit nominations for the Distinguished Teacher Award for 2020. The Award is the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at all levels within UCT. Through the award, the university recognises excellent teaching and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the institution’s work.

Each year the Distinguished Teachers Award Committee considers nominations made by students and staff on behalf of a number of excellent teachers. The committee examines each submission in detail in accordance with a carefully devised rubric, terms of reference and set of criteria.

All full-time members of the staff who have taught at UCT for a minimum period of five years are eligible for the award.

Nominations can be submitted to the Committee by 19 February 2021. Nominees are required to submit their portfolio electronically by 16 April 2021. The outcomes of the adjudication process will be announced in the third quarter of 2021. 

3. The Annual Bongani Memorial Lecture

The Faculty of Health Sciences is hosting the second annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture virtually, to honour the legacy of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi. The event this year has received formal recognition by the UCT Council and will be an inaugural university lecture. The lecture will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform on Thursday, 28 January 2021 from 18:00.

The keynote speaker is Professor George Mensah, the director of the Centre for Translation Research and Implementation Science at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA. Professor Mensah is currently a Visiting Professor in Medicine at UCT and will speak on “A celebration of African Scholarship”.

4. COVID-19 updates

As at 12 January 2021, UCT has 265 reported cases of COVID-19 among non-health sciences staff members, with 189 recoveries. The university is deeply saddened to note that we have lost 14 staff members to the virus. With the holiday season coming to an end, UCT will also shortly provide an update on students impacted by the virus.

The university continues to urge members of the UCT community to remain alert to the reality of increasing infections in the country and support each other during this pandemic.

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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.

Thank You UCT Community

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 day: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00.

#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.


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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.


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.