Thursday, 30 April

30 April 2020


The University of Cape Town (UCT) is writing to inform you of the guidelines that have been developed with regard to specific staffing-related matters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university will continue to work remotely during stage four and will advise in future if and when this position changes.

Guidelines on staffing matters

We have developed guidelines that have been informed by the government’s strategy on social distancing, UCT’s vision for 2030, institutional strategies for financial and social sustainability, and labour relations prescripts.

If you need clarity on a specific issue please email the Director: HR Client Services, Mr Zaheer Ally, or phone him on 021 650 4226.

A number of queries have arisen in respect of the research enterprise. The UCT executive and researchers are continuing their joint efforts to ensure the stability and continuity of the research enterprise.

We have identified four broad categories of work segmentation to ensure operational continuity:

  • jobs that can be fully performed on a remote working basis
  • jobs that can be performed partially on a remote basis
  • jobs that form part of an essential service and are performed in accordance with a lean staffing model on a rotational basis
  • jobs that cannot be performed remotely.

These four categories help to provide a conceptual framework for handling staffing-related matters.

We have drafted HR guidelines to assist on staffing matters and are providing them as a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The FAQs address the following areas:

  • UCT contracts of employment
  • Staff recruitment/selection and the extension of fixed-term contracts
  • Management of deliverables during this period.

For issues related to the COVID-19 Temporary Employee-Employer Relief Scheme (TERS) and UIF claims, email Margie Tainton, or call her on 021 650 3028 or 084 582 6461.

Read the COO’s Desk.


This audio newsbyte from the University of Cape Town (UCT) serves to update you on the progress made with remote teaching for undergraduate students.

UCT is providing laptops on loan to eligible students. Delivery of these laptops began on 22 April and is expected to be completed by 8 May.

Deals to provide data bundles to all students have been signed with Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom, who have also agreed to zero-rate certain important UCT sites. The list of zero-rated sites is available on the ICTS website.

All online learning offerings are asynchronous – the pre-recorded lectures and study materials will be available in Vula, so students will not miss out on any learning. Course conveners will also be flexible in terms of submissions of work. The deadline to make changes in your curriculum has been changed from 8 May to 29 May.

The university is looking into the delivery of printed materials and USB drives for those students who cannot access the internet. 11 May has been set as the start date for distribution.

The UCT Call Centre and Referral System (CARES) is a new support tool being developed to provide student support. Your queries can be directed to

Read the DVC’s Desk.


The process of rebuilding South Africa post-COVID-19 will require energy, creativity, commitment and resilient minds – all qualities that you can find in University of Cape Town (UCT) students, staff and alumni. As stakeholders and supporters of UCT, we have a privilege and a responsibility to help build that future now.

Upon hearing about the outbreak of the pandemic in South Africa, the UCT executive set up the COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund to assist in the fight against the virus and its impact on the university community. So far, this fund has helped with needs such as:

  • Providing transportation for students needing to return home.
  • Disinfecting buildings.
  • Sourcing and arranging delivery of laptops to students.
  • Purchasing data bundles for students for remote learning.

The laptops alone have incurred a total cost of about R16.4 million.

When the lockdown is lifted and students and staff start returning to campus, the COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund will help to provide for other needs, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety.

Your support now will help to ensure that UCT continues to play an important role in the growth of South Africa.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has committed 20% of her salary to the COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund for a three-month period. This is above and beyond her regular monthly donation of 10% of her salary to the Mamokgethi Phakeng Scholarship Fund and her contributions towards her Adopt-A-Learner education trust and other initiatives.

The university is equally grateful to others who share the vice-chancellor’s commitment to higher education, including UCT Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe who, late last month, announced the donation of R5 million by the Motsepe Foundation.

The donations barometer – which currently stands at R6.8 million – and donor acknowledgements are available on the Development and Alumni Department website.

The COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund demonstrates solidarity and a strong commitment to supporting the most vulnerable members of the UCT community.

UCT invites you to pledge your support today.

Read the VC’s Desk.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

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 2020 and to 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. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.

Frequently asked questions


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.