UCT’s approach to COVID-19 and other updates

03 May 2022

Dear colleagues and students

While moving closer to a more “normalised” approach to COVID-19 after the recent announcement on the lifting of the national state of disaster, UCT’s focus is to prevent future infections through the “3-V-s”: vaccination, ventilation and vigilance. Read more about UCT’s approach to COVID-19 and other recent developments on campus.

Changes to UCT’s approach to COVID-19

Following the recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the lifting of the state of disaster, the UCT executive recognises that COVID-19 still needs to be managed in society and on the university’s campuses. UCT’s approach also recognises that for the most part, life and work must continue under health and safety conditions that protect all members of the campus community as much as possible.

As we move closer to a more “normalised” approach to COVID-19, UCT’s focus is to prevent future infections through the “3-V-s”: vaccination, ventilation and vigilance.

Aftermath of #FeesMustFall exhibition, 3-5 May

UCT’s Department of Student Affairs in partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) invites you to the exhibition titled, Aftermath: Violence and wellbeing in the context of the student movement, taking place from Tuesday, 3 May until Thursday, 5 May 2022. The exhibition will take place at the Molly Blackburn foyer on Upper Campus, between 10:00 and 16:00 daily.

The exhibition is a collection of 34 images taken and/or supplied by student leaders, which they reflect on as representations of their experiences of violence during the #FeesMustFall student movement - and their search for wellbeing after these experiences.

The aim of this exhibition is to raise awareness about the levels of violence on university campuses and the impact this has on student wellbeing.

The exhibition will travel to universities across South Africa and neighbouring countries, after already having been shown at the University of Botswana and Stellenbosch University.

For more information on the UCT leg of the exhibition please contact Nadia Wilson.

Commemorating the #RhodesMustFall anniversary

This year marks the seventh year since the removal of the Rhodes statue following protest action by students on campus. The protests were sparked by the #RhodesMustFall (RMF) movement after Chumani Maxwele flung human excrement at the Rhodes statue on UCT upper campus on 9 March 2015. A month later, on 9 April 2015, the statue was removed. The RMF movement is globally recognised for its role in accelerating the decolonial project. One legacy of the RMF was the establishment of a scholarship, ushering in new pathways of scholarship, activism, funding support and the student experience.

Remembering the Table Mountain fire

UCT recently marked 12 months since the disaster of the Table Mountain fire on 18 April 2021 and the damage it caused. The commemoration was marked with the formal opening of a special Jagger Library memorial exhibition. It has been a long journey of recovery for all at UCT and the university remains appreciative of every internal and external role player in response to and post the tragedy. The university is also grateful that no staff member or student was harmed by the fire or the evacuation process.

The exhibition explores the questions posed by the fire, the salvage of the archives and the void of the burnt-out Jagger Library building. Professor Alison Lewis, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, is leading a team that will help us reimagine the future of the Jagger Library and the surviving African Studies archives.

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.