Dear colleagues and students
Thank you for your participation in our engagement sessions last week, which allowed the University of Cape Town (UCT) executive to share our position on the proposed COVID-19 vaccination policy for the institution. I am now writing to update you on the next steps in this important process. The UCT Council approved in-principle, to take effect as from 1 January 2022, a proposal requiring that all staff (as a condition of being able to perform their duties) and students (as a condition of registration) provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The UCT Council discussed this complex matter fully and took into consideration a range of diverse views at a meeting held on Saturday, 16 October. Council resolved that the university executive should proceed to establish an appropriately constituted panel, whose task would be to develop the operational details required to implement the campus access dispensation as referred to above, including the principles and guidelines for exemption from a requirement to provide proof of vaccination. As the UCT executive we will be required to report back to Council at its December 2021 meeting.
As part of our engagements, UCT staff and students were also invited to complete a short survey on the matter. The majority of staff and students who completed the survey supported a mandatory vaccination policy for UCT.
The UCT Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of mandatory vaccination at their last meeting in September, with 83% of respondents in the ballot indicating support. The UCT College of Fellows has also released a statement supporting vaccination at UCT.
UCT continues to encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as that will help keep down the rate and the severity of COVID-19 infection.
The UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence, with access from Broad Street, is open to staff, students and the general public from 08:00 to 15:00 on Monday to Friday. In the event that the centre will be open on a given Saturday, that will be announced on UCT’s social media channels.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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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.
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 Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00. Please allow time for attending to COVID-19 protocols and arrive as early as possible at the vaccination centre.
This is a space created for all formal bodies and structures within the university community to share their opinions on the need for a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. Please note that some editorial judgement may be applied if the received statements go against any constitutional rights, and that no correspondence will be entered into, statements will be posted unedited and as received. Statements can be sent to email@example.com.
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.