This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Declaration of interests
Staff are urged to complete the declaration of interests form to declare their financial interests and fiduciary roles, as well as those of their immediate family members in line with university and Department of Higher Education policy. The obligatory declaration, to be submitted to UCT’s Human Resources Department, is done annually and is necessary to ensure that UCT upholds the principles of integrity and good governance. Full compliance is of utmost importance in order to, among others, avoid a qualified audit from external auditors. Staff are urged to ensure that they complete the declaration of interests form by the deadline of 6 November 2020.
2. New SRC constituted
The UCT Students Representative Council (SRC) for the 2020/21 term of office has been constituted. The constituting meeting was held on Tuesday, 3 November 2020, where portfolios were allocated to the 15 office bearers. Congratulations to the newly elected members.
The SRC elections were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from 12 to 16 October 2020. This year’s elections had a voter turnout of 7531, which is 28.6% of the university student population.
3. Farewell to the outgoing SRC
As the university bids farewell to the outgoing SRC, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has lauded the student leaders for the role they played in advocating for student needs during their term of office. Professor Phakeng alluded to their many achievements in making student life seamless during one of the most difficult years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. UCT CMC special daily conference offer
The UCT Conference Management Centre (CMC) offers a very special rate at the state-of-the-art new Academic Conference Centre at Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, V&A Waterfront. The limited special offer is R430 per person for the daily conference package. Any events planned for the remainder of 2020 until the end of 2022 qualify for this special offer. Bookings have to be made by 31 December 2020. Email CMC or call 021 406 6733 to make bookings or for further enquiries.
During this period of navigating the conferences, virtual events and hybrid models due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UCT CMC makes it easier to manage any event! CMC offers a total event management solution with specialist services in all areas – from accommodation and registration to the latest technology solutions and design.
5. Update on COVID-19 cases
The university has 106 reported positive COVID-19 cases among non-health sciences staff as at 3 November. A reported 93 staff members have recovered. With regards to students, 50 cases have been reported, including 16 health sciences students on clinical platforms. Staff and students’ deaths due to the pandemic remain nine and one respectively. The university has created a dedicated web page through which we pay tribute to students and staff lost during the pandemic.
6. Feedback from UCT’s Council meeting
UCT’s Chair of Council, Babalwa Ngonyama, gave feedback from UCT’s Council meeting which took place on 17 October 2020. She also shared updates on the important engagements she has had with several internal and external stakeholders. Ms Ngonyama further shared information on UCT’s plan for accelerated transformation and reports by Council committees, among others.
7. October staff assembly
Professor Phakeng has extended a word of appreciation to the over 2000 UCT staff members who attended the special online assembly on Wednesday, 13 October. The assembly gave the executive an opportunity to engage meaningfully with staff on critical issues pertaining to the university during the COVID-19 period.
Staff who could not attend the assembly can still access the recording of the assembly to catch up on discussions and the updates shared.
8. Drupal 8 implementation and website migration
The university is in the process of upgrading its web content management system from the older Drupal 7 system to Drupal 8. The upgrade will ensure that all websites hosted on the system don’t find themselves vulnerable to attack and by extension expose all websites on UCT’s Drupal platform to a high level of risk as there won’t be security upgrades available for Drupal 7 from November 2021. The Drupal 8 Development and Website Migration Project will roll out in two phases. Phase 1 is underway, while Phase 2 is scheduled to start next year.
Read previous communications:
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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.
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.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
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.