Launch of Phambili programme and other updates

04 March 2022

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has launched a self-development programme, Phambili, with its objective to support student academic recovery and teaching. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Launch of the Phambili self-development programme

In addressing challenges and disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years, the university has launched Phambili, aimed at supporting teaching and for students to achieve academic success.

Phambili has been designed by the Centre for Higher Education Development. This programme supplements general and discipline specific support provided by faculties.

The primary aims of the programme are to emphasise student agency and responsibility in their success, enable access to institutional resources and support, and help students develop individual plans for recovery.

A live orientation event for Phambili is scheduled for Tuesday, 8 March in Beattie 114 on Upper Campus from 17:30 to 18:30. The venue has limited capacity, but the event will be live streamed.

Queries can be sent to

2. COVID-19 booster shots available

Eligible members of the UCT community are encouraged to take their COVID-19 booster shots. The UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre is open and offers booster shots.

The booster shots enhance protection and immunity against the virus in vaccinated people, as the effectiveness of the primary vaccine dose wanes over time. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority approved both the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Pfizer booster shots. The government has recently revised the vaccination programme with the time between vaccinations being reduced.

The UCT vaccination centre is open every weekday from 08:00 to 15:00. The site is located at the university's Forest Hill residence complex on the Main Road, Mowbray, with access via Broad Street.

3. Road closure due to Varsity Cup game

The next UCT Varsity Cup game will be played on the Rugby Field, Green Mile on Upper Campus on Monday, 7 March. Please note that as a result, Madiba Circle East will be closed to all vehicles between 17:30 and 21:00. Students and staff are advised to make use of alternative routes.

Communication and Marketing Department

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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.