COVID-19 data disclosure to the National Department of Health

30 March 2021 | Dr Reno Morar, COO

Dear colleagues

This communication serves to advise of the COVID-19 data disclosure to the National Department of Health (National Institute for Occupational Health) as required by the relevant legislative framework.

Nursing staff in the Properties and Services Department’s Occupational Health Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) may contact you to confirm relevant personal details. We would appreciate your co-operation in providing this information, which we are required to make available to the National Institute for Occupational Health. I am writing to explain why this information is needed and to assure you that your information will be treated as confidential, by the government as well as UCT.

The Disaster Management Act requires all employers, including UCT and other universities, to comply with legislative requirements under the DoEL and the Department of Health (DoH). The regulatory authorities want to enhance the COVID-19 surveillance programme and improve statistical data accuracy throughout the country. The DoEL has an additional obligatory requirement on all employers who employ more than 50 people to submit five data components to the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) as per the Guideline. The NIOH will comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act and will treat all information as confidential.

The information UCT needs to provide to the NIOH includes:

  1. Vulnerable Worker Information (excluding name, address and national ID number); this category only requires a Yes or No response in the vulnerability category
  2. daily symptom screening information that is supplied through the Higher Health App or the UCT Daily Symptom Screening app (where personal details exclude the ID number)
  3. reports of COVID-19 positive cases (personal details include the ID number but no name or address)
  4. reports on post-infection outcome and return to work of employees who had tested positive for COVID 19 (personal details include the ID number but no name or address)
  5. reports on contact tracing when an employee tests positive in the workplace. A high risk of exposure is defined as being in close proximity for at least 15 minutes without the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). However, UCT is enforcing the use of PPE and other safety measures across campus and we do not anticipate having to file such a report.

Your co-operation in this regard will not only help UCT to comply with government requirements, but will also provide information needed by the DoH and DoEL to help manage work environments during the pandemic and inform vaccination sequencing for working populations

Management is requested to share the information with staff who may not have access to email.

Thanks to all of you for your assistance.

Kind regards

Dr Reno Morar
Chief Operating Officer
Chair of the COVID-19 Co-ordinating Committee

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

Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.

In July 2022, the University of Cape Town (UCT) revised its approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic on UCT campuses in 2022.
Read the latest document available on the UCT policies web page.


Campus communications


Adjusting to our new environment 16:50, 23 June 2022
VC Open Lecture and other updates 17:04, 13 April 2022
Feedback from UCT Council meeting of 12 March 2022 09:45, 18 March 2022
Chair of Council
March 2022 graduation celebration 16:45, 8 March 2022
Report on the meeting of UCT Council of 21 February 2022 19:30, 21 February 2022
Chair of Council
COVID-19 management 2022 11:55, 14 February 2022
Return to campus arrangements 2022 11:15, 4 February 2022

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

On Wednesday, 20 July, staff from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences came together with representatives from the Western Cape Government at the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence to acknowledge the centre’s significance in the fight against COVID-19 and to thank its staff for their contributions. The centre opened on 1 September 2021 with the aim of providing quality vaccination services to UCT staff, students and the nearby communities, as well as to create an opportunity for medical students from the Faculty of Health Sciences to gain practical public health skills. The vaccination centre ceased operations on Friday, 29 July 2022.

With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.


“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.

Thank You UCT Community

Frequently asked questions


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


“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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.