Renaming of upper campus places and spaces

17 November 2021 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues, students and alumni

The naming of places and spaces across our campuses is an opportunity to think deeply about who and what the university represents.

In 2018 we renamed Jameson Hall to Sarah Baartman Hall. This was a moment in which the university could recognise the multifaceted struggles and resilience of South African women. In June 2021 Council deliberated and approved a recommendation of the Naming of Buildings Committee (NoBC) to change the name of Smuts Hall, the student residence on upper campus, and decided that in the interim the name Upper Campus Residence will be used until such a time that the process of determining a new name is formally concluded.

I now invite you to participate in the process of renaming this residence, along with two other spaces which are located at the heart of upper campus.

All proposals that we receive will be considered by the Naming of Buildings Committee (NoBC). In addition to making recommendations to Council about the naming or renaming of any building, space, room or lecture theatre on campus, the NoBC maintains a register of the names of buildings and spaces and is responsible for promoting awareness of the reasons behind the names.

In addition to the new name for the Upper Campus Residence, the NoBC would like to hear your proposals for these two additional spaces:

  • The steps and plaza in front of Sarah Baartman Hall (currently Jameson Plaza). This part of our campus has been a gathering place for the university community for generations – from protests to graduation ceremonies, to social gatherings, festivals and meeting up with friends.
  • The plinth on Madiba Circle (previously, the location of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes). This commanding location foregrounds Sarah Baartman Hall, the plaza and steps and the two residence buildings.

Proposals may be submitted to the NoBC from today, Wednesday, 17 November, to Monday, 6 December 2021. Following this, the NoBC will recommend new names to Council.

The naming of places and spaces at UCT is an important process, which we do not take lightly. These names need to reflect the values of the many different groups that make up the UCT community. Renaming buildings and places allow us an opportunity to respond to both the past and the future of UCT and to reflect and honour our diversity and inclusivity.

I look forward to your participation in this important process.


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.