December 2021 graduation celebration and other updates

17 November 2021

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will host the “walk of celebration” ahead of the virtual graduation ceremonies on 13 and 14 December 2021. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. December 2021 graduation celebrations

Due to COVID-19, UCT will hold graduation ceremonies virtually on 13 and 14 December 2021. These graduations will celebrate an exceptional cohort that has overcome so much to get to the finish line, having persevered and shown commitment despite the pandemic. Graduands have also been invited to a live “walk of celebration”, which will afford them the opportunity to invite up to three of their guests to watch them walk across a platform outside the Sarah Baartman Hall and have their name called out while the vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, and their loved ones congratulate and celebrate with them.

2. Welcoming the 2021/22 SRC

The term of the new Students' Representative Council (SRC) started on 1 November 2021 and will conclude on 31 October 2022. The university commends all the students who made time to cast their votes online, the Election Commission for delivering free and fair elections, and the previous SRC who stepped up by leading at a very challenging time.

3. UCT bids farewell to retirees

This year UCT has the privilege of honouring nearly 90 retirees from across the university, including academic and professional, administrative support and service (PASS) staff. It is an opportunity for the university to say a well-deserved thank you to the staff members who have served UCT for as long as they have. Although UCT won’t be able to celebrate retirees through a physical ceremony as has been the case in the past, the university has since last year introduced an alternative to thank them for their selfless contributions by creating a feature page on the UCT News website. The page includes the retirees’ names, photos and their length of service.

4. Teaching and Learning Encounters (TLE) 2021

In a bid to figure out how teaching and learning after the pandemic can be enriched by lessons and practices learnt, UCT will host the Teaching and Learning Encounters (TLE) 2021 from 26 November to 2 December 2021. The platform is designed to encourage staff members across UCT to share insights and reflect on their experiences over the last 18 months, and to dream and plan together for the post-pandemic future.

5. Reminder: Wolfson Memorial Lecture

The UCT community is invited to attend the annual Wolfson Memorial Lecture, which will be presented by Professor Valerie Mizrahi, the world-renowned director of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, on 22 November 2021 from 17:00 to 18:00. This will be a hybrid event, which will be live-streamed, with a physical event held at the Wolfson Pavilion for a limited number of guests, in strict accordance with UCT’s COVID-19 protocols.


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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.