Annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture and other updates

26 January 2022

Dear colleagues and students

The annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture is taking place this week and staff, students and members are invited to join. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture

The annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture will take place on Thursday, 27 January at 18:00 (SAST) on the Microsoft Teams platform. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, will present a lecture titled “Lessons from Bongani Mayosi’s Life and Work: Transformation in the Era of COVID-19”.

2. Staff assembly on draft UCT Vaccine Mandate Policy

Staff are encouraged to join a session which will be hosted by the university’s Vaccine Mandate Panel (VMP) on the draft UCT Vaccine Mandate Policy at a staff assembly at 08:30 on Thursday, 27 January. It will be facilitated by the Chair of the VMP and Deputy Dean: Health Services in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Associate Professor Tracey Naledi and Deputy Chair, Professor Pierre de Vos, the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance in the Faculty of Law.

All staff are encouraged to participate in the session to make their voices heard and to learn more about the work of the panel.

After the draft policy was tabled before Council, it has been published in full and is now open to a consultation process among UCT stakeholders.

This process will be completed by 31 January 2022.

3. Student debt appeals for 2021 and financial assistance for 2022

One of the university’s main imperatives is to provide financial assistance to eligible students. Financial assistance is sourced from various sources, including corporate sponsorships, donations, UCT’s own funds and the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

Appeals are considered from undergraduate South African or permanent resident students that meet the following criteria:

  • gross family income under R600 000
  • are potential final year of study in 2022 within the N+ rule; and
  • have not met the 50% pass of academic courses but are on track to complete their studies within the N+ rule.

4. Undergraduate financial assistance

UCT financial assistance falls into various categories:

4.1 NSFAS funding for first time entering and continuing students

First-time-entering new students (FTENS) who are eligible for financial aid must come from households with an annual income of no more than R350 000.

4.2 NSFAS funding status

4.2.1 Applicants

Universities expect to receive feedback from NSFAS on eligible students when the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results are released. It is important that students take responsibility for tracking the status of their NSFAS application on the myNSFAS portal.

4.2.2 UCT NSFAS Funded students in 2021

NSFAS will continue making funding decisions for students funded in 2021 as academic results are received and processed. Students can track their NSFAS funding eligibility on the myNSFAS portal.

4.2.3 Transferring students

Students who have transferred to study at UCT and were NSFAS funded previously must verify their eligibility for continued funding and remember that the N+1 funding rule still applies, as all years of study at a university are counted (including study at UNISA).

4.3 UCT GAP funding

UCT offers GAP funding, which is the university’s financial assistance programme for the “missing middle” – those students who come from families with an annual gross income above the NSFAS threshold of R350 000 household income per annum, but no more than R600 000 per annum.

4.4 UCT sibling rebate bursary

The UCT sibling rebate bursary programme provides reduced tuition costs to undergraduate siblings who do not qualify for NSFAS financial aid or GAP funding. Further information on the Sibling Rebate Bursary programme and the sibling rebate application form is available on UCT’s Department of Student Affairs website. Applications close on 16 May 2022.

4.5 Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme

The Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) is a private sector funded bursary scheme which provides financial and wrap around support to designated “missing middle” students (those with a gross family income of between R350 000 and R600 000 per annum) and students studying towards degrees in scarce skills professions.

4.6 Other funding

Funding from corporates, non-governmental institutions and sponsors is provided directly to eligible students but is administered with the assistance of UCT as the university provides all the necessary documents (academic transcripts and fees statements) and any other information required by the funders after registration

5. Undergraduate funding appeals

The university actively fundraised and set aside limited funding from its own resources to assist students with fee debt or who have not met the academic performance renewal requirements for financial aid and GAP funding. Funds are limited and the criteria outlined below will be applied to ensure fair access to available resources.

5.1 NSFAS appeals for 2022 funding that has been stopped due to poor academic performance in 2021 or the N+ rule

The NSFAS will manage all appeals directly on the myNSFAS portal. Students that have not met academic renewal requirements or the N+ rule, must submit an online appeal with the required supporting documents by logging onto their myNSFAS portal and submitting the appeal directly to NSFAS. NSFAS appeals opened on 24 January and close on 23 February 2022.

5.2 Academic Appeals for UCT funded students

Students on UCT financial aid or GAP funding in 2021, who failed to pass at least 50% of their courses, and are therefore not eligible for funding in 2022, must please appeal to the Student Financial Aid Office.

5.3 Students with fee debt from 2021 who were on UCT financial aid or GAP funding

UCT policies do not allow students to register for the following year of study if they have outstanding fees owing to UCT at the time of registration. However, students with fee debt from 2021 can approach the Student Financial Aid Office directly for assistance towards their fee debt.

Appeals may only be available to students that have a fee block to register.

What you need to do: Financial-aid students with debt can submit an online appeal by logging onto their PeopleSoft Student Portal. Where the online appeal form is not available, please email the Undergraduate Funding Office for assistance to activate the online appeal tile in Peoplesoft Student Self Service.

5.4 Students with fee debt from 2021 who were on NSFAS Grant funding

NSFAS grant students are required to sign their DHET Acknowledgement of Debt (AOD) for the shortfall in approved study costs. The DHET AOD has been sent to students. Once the form is received the fee block will be lifted, provided it covers the outstanding fees.

Note that students may register with a debt under R1 000.

5.5 Debt appeals for students not on financial aid or GAP funding (including appeals from students who have not been means tested)

Students who have outstanding 2021 fees, but have not been means tested, can appeal and be considered on financial need and academic merit and subject to funding availability. These appeals will be means tested, and successful students will be asked to pay their calculated EFC. Appeals will only be considered where the gross family income is less than R600 000 per annum and an application for funding has been submitted to NSFAS for 2022.

All undergraduate appeals will close on 9 February 2022 and no late appeal applications will be accepted.

5.6 SADC and international students’ undergraduate financial assistance

Unfortunately, UCT is not able to provide relief for international students, including Southern African Development Community (SADC) students, because of constraints on its own resources and due to restrictions imposed by funders, which often stipulate that only South Africans or students with South African permanent residency may be assisted with funding. No appeals from these students can therefore be considered.

6. Postgraduate students

Most postgraduate funding is administered through the Postgraduate Funding Office. The call for applications for most 2022 postgraduate funding has closed and information on those applications still open is available.

6.1 Postgraduate appeals

Appeals from funded students should be directed to the Postgraduate Funding Office. Postgraduates can submit an appeal based on legitimate reasons, as agreed by the Postgraduate Studies Funding Committee

For more information on postgraduate funding please contact the office on +27 (0)21 650 3622 or email


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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
UCT 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
UCT 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.