Virtual July graduation

17 June 2021 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

The university’s annual graduation is the highlight of our calendar. We celebrate and honour our students’ remarkable resilience and academic achievements. The past year leading up to the upcoming graduation has been full of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still very much with us.

We are very proud of students who completed their study programmes in 2020 and are scheduled to graduate in July. While these graduation ceremonies will once again be held virtually, our enthusiasm for celebrating our students has never waned. We are inspired by this class of graduates who will forever be an example of strength within the UCT community. The virtual graduation ceremonies will take place from 12 to 19 July.

While celebrating in this way is far from ideal, it is in the interest of the safety of everyone within the university community. We are observing the health protocols put in place to mitigate the risk of spreading infection. All of the other traditional university events are taking place virtually as we cannot at this stage host large gatherings.

The ceremonies will be staged through online broadcast events which will be pre-recorded. The recordings will be available for viewing on all UCT’s social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, through the UCT graduation web page and on the UCT News website.

The Chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, will officially confer degrees on all graduands who have successfully met all their academic requirements, including one posthumous award.

The faculty ceremonies are as follows:

Date Faculty Time
12 July Commerce 18:00
13 July Engineering & the Built Environment 18:00
14 July Health Sciences 18:00
15 July Humanities 18:00
16 July Law 18:00
19 July Science 18:00

Mr Guy Harris is the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Medal, which will be awarded at the Commerce ceremony. Mr Harris is a UCT alumni and a qualified chartered accountant. He is passionate about promoting and supporting entrepreneurship and tackling unemployment through entrepreneurship.

Two honorary doctorates will be conferred, the first on Dr Norbert Ndjeka at the Health Sciences ceremony and the other on Dr Yogapragasen Pillay at the Humanities ceremony.

Dr Ndjeka has been the director of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (DR-TB), Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV at the National Department of Health (NDoH) since 2009. His primary accomplishments have been in the area of DR-TB. Dr Ndjeka’s exceptional achievements in the treatment of DR-TB have resulted from a unique blend of public service, activism and research, and make him a worthy candidate for an honorary doctorate from UCT.

Over the past 25 years at the NDoH, Dr Pillay served under all five health ministers, moving through the ranks from director for systems development to deputy director-general, responsible for health programmes. He was an outspoken champion in the fight for health equity and improved health delivery for all South Africans, and this occurred despite the AIDS denialism among the country’s political leadership in the early 2000s.

The deans will convey their personal congratulatory messages to the graduands from their respective faculties and announce the UCT book award, fellowship and distinguished teacher awardees.

Graduation day is a very special day in the lives of our graduands, their families, friends, loved ones and sponsors who will no doubt be taking celebratory videos and photos. We encourage you to add to the festive spirit of the wonderful occasion by sharing these memorable moments using our hashtag: #UCTGrad2021. Pictures with captions can also be shared with our newsroom at We urge members of the university community to engage and participate on our social media platforms to celebrate with our graduands.

The broadcast links will be available on all our social platforms and through the UCT Graduation web page and on the UCT News website on the day of each ceremony just before the starting time.

Congratulations to all our graduands, we look forward to celebrating with you!


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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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.