Limiting the COVID-19 health risk and other updates

23 September 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.

1. Your role in limiting the health risk of returning to UCT

It is critical that those who return to campus adhere to all public health and safety protocols. For access to campus, each staff member and student must first receive a letter of authorisation. Everyone who returns to campus at this time will need to observe all public health and safety protocols.

Students can only return to residence if they have received an invitation and may only arrive on the date specified on that invitation. Students are urged to exercise individual accountability in complying with the obligatory public health safety measures to protect their own health and that of the residence community.

Because of the need for social distancing, it is safest to limit the number of people on campus and in rooms. For this reason, the executive still encourages students and staff members who can study and work from home to continue to do so.

Although the country has moved to lockdown level one, staff and students are still advised and encouraged to follow the three basic protocols of wearing a face mask, social and physical distancing, and sanitising/washing hands and surfaces. There is an individual and collective community responsibility to be compliant in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

2. Update on COVID-19 cases

The university has, as at 22 September, 101 reported COVID-19 cases among non-health sciences staff. Staff recoveries stood at 88. The number of reported students’ cases is 36, including 10 health sciences students on clinical platforms. The number of staff and students sadly lost to the pandemic remains nine and one respectively.

3. Commemorating Heritage Month

In commemorating Heritage Month, UCT reflected on what this means in terms of its history and collective heritage.

For the past few years, the university has been considering the names of buildings on its campuses as part of the ongoing transformation process. Several buildings have been named to reflect the diverse staff and student community at the institution.

This month there were plans to carry out the next phase relating to the Sutherland human remains restitution project, found to have been obtained unethically by the university in the 1920s. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this process has to be delayed and will be carried out once circumstances permit.

webinar on decolonialisation and decoloniality was hosted, which looked at the emergence of decolonial thought and discourse. The university’s Works of Art Collection (WOAC) committee is also reshaping UCT’s art collection – which comprises approximately 1 700 artworks across 70 UCT buildings – and transforming it into a resource for researchers, curators and students.

4. Inaugural Lecture: Professor Hussein Suleman

The next VC’s Inaugural Lecture will be presented by Professor Hussein Suleman, head of department and professor in Computer Science in the School of Information Technology. His lecture is titled “Computer Science at times of crisis: reflecting on societal drivers for software and algorithm design” and will take place on Wednesday, 30 September 2020 at 17:30 on the Microsoft Teams online platform.

5. AFC virtual dialogue and debate

The Chair of the Academic Freedom Committee, Professor Elelwani Ramugondo, invites staff and students to a virtual dialogue and debate, titled “Can research be harmful and if so, what does this mean for academic freedom?”. The event will be held on Wednesday, 30 September from 17:00-18:30 via the Microsoft Teams Platform.

The dialogue and debate will be moderated by Professor Pierre de Vos and panellists will include Professor Ambroise Wonkam (Division of Human Genetics), Associate Professor Kelley Moult (Department of Public Law), Dr George Hull (Department of Philosophy) and Professor Marc Blockman (Division of Clinical Pharmacology).

The event will include an interactive question and answer session. Join this important dialogue and debate, it is open to all.

6. Year in Review 2019 available online

Over the past year, UCT took further steps towards making its campus a more inclusive space and made a series of decisions to address questions about sustainability that higher education is grappling with around the world. The Year in Review 2019 gives a broad overview, and a few highlights, of the institution’s activities, goals and its many achievements over the previous year.

7. The new Jammie Shuttle App

Staff and students are reminded that UCT has partnered with GoMetro in creating a mobile/cellphone Jammie Shuttle App. The app provides timetables and real-time information on the Jammie Shuttles, including the expected time of arrival at each bus stop on any given route, allowing the user to reduce waiting time. The app also displays the bus movements on a map and this information gets updated in real-time, thus ensuring that notices for delays or incidents are immediate.

The app has many more features and functions that aim to create a good experience for staff and students riding the Jammie Shuttle. It will also link to Metrorail and other transport networks to allow for a better commute from home to campus.  

To download and register for the app, use your standard UCT system login details (staff/student number and current password).

For support in setting up or using the app, please contact 021 650 5289 (office hours), 021 650 2222 / 080 650 2222 (after hours),

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 updates

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.

UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.

Campus updates

  •  Information
  •  Normal
  •  Caution
  •  Alert

Daily updates

Friday, 5 February 14:20, 5 February 2021
Monday, 4 January 16:50, 4 January 2021
Friday, 18 December 11:30, 18 December 2020
Thursday, 19 November 09:30, 19 November 2020
Friday, 13 November 12:40, 13 November 2020
Friday, 16 October 10:05, 16 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 12:50, 14 October 2020
Tuesday, 22 September 14:10, 22 September 2020
Friday, 11 September 10:05, 11 September 2020
Monday, 31 August 12:20, 31 August 2020
Wednesday, 12 August 10:20, 12 August 2020
Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
Thursday, 6 August 18:26, 6 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

Campus communications

New SRC and other updates 16:44, 4 November 2020
Virtual graduation ceremonies 13:30, 21 October 2020
Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020
UCT Human Resources and COVID-19 16:05, 19 March 2020
UCT confirms second COVID-19 case 09:15, 19 March 2020
Update on UCT COVID-19 response 13:50, 11 March 2020
Update on COVID-19 17:37, 6 March 2020


Video messages from the Department of Medicine

Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19

The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.

To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.

Useful information from UCT

External resources

News and opinions

Statements and media releases

Media releases

Read more  

Statements from Government


In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”


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.