Load-shedding implications for UCT and other updates

11 June 2021 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

1. Load-shedding implications for UCT

Power utility Eskom announced that various load-shedding stages will be implemented. The below are implications for the university during Stage 3. We ask staff and students to note the below and please make the necessary arrangements.

  1. Generators will power up some buildings during load-shedding.
  2. The refilling of diesel in the generators usually happens after every second load-shedding and after business hours. During load-shedding stages 3 & 4, the generators will have to be refueled more frequently during the daytime. It might result in some inconvenience as staff and students will be on campus.
  3. Most venues are backed up by uninterruptible power supply (UPS) which only provides up to 2.5 hours of power. It takes 24 hours to recharge the UPS batteries. With the frequent load-shedding, it will be impossible for the batteries to recharge quickly enough. It will leave the areas covered by UPSs without electrical power.
  4. Frequent load-shedding will also affect emergency lighting fitted with battery packs. It will be impossible for the batteries to recharge as the required time for recharging is 24 hours.

2. Jammie Shuttles COVID-19 protocols

Although Jammie Shuttles are legally allowed to run at 100% capacity, UCT has put an additional precaution in place by not allowing standing passengers. This is to prevent the possibility of airborne droplets being exhaled onto a seated passenger by a standing passenger. UCT has given clear directives to the management of the Jammie Shuttle service to ensure that all COVID-19 protocols for the Jammie Shuttles are enforced.

If you feel that these protocols are not being adhered to, please contact the Jammie Shuttle manager or the UCT Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Department to report all the relevant details, so that the university can take immediate action.

  • OHS: Brent Proctor; 021 650 3487 (business hours)
  • Jammie Shuttle: Clive Lippert; 021 650 1707 (open till 22:00, Monday to Friday)

The following protocols need to be followed to ensure the health and safety of all passengers and drivers on the Jammie Shuttle:

  1. Complete the UCT Daily Screening App before you arrive at the pickup point, and show the Daily Screening Green result to the terminal marshal or bus driver
  2. Wear a mask at all times
  3. Ensure social distancing of 1.5 m when queuing for the shuttle
  4. Sanitise your hands before entering the shuttle
  5. Ensure that you are seated when using the shuttle
  6. If there are no empty seats, disembark and wait for the next shuttle
  7. Keep windows open to ensure good ventilation

3. Guidelines for the June examination period

The university, in consultation and co-operation with the national and provincial Departments of Health and the UCT Student Representative Council, has developed guidelines for the June examination period. These were developed in keeping with principles that underpin the institution’s approach to the operational plans for the academic year.

The number of students sitting in invigilated exams is a small percentage of our student body. All health and safety requirements in line with current lockdown protocols will be applied. Ventilation has been assessed at all exam venues and upgraded where required. This may make some venues colder, so students are advised to bring a warm coat with them to exam venues.

Everyone in the exam venue will be required to wear a mask. Sanitisers will be provided at entrances.


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 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.