One year of lockdown: a photo montage

26 March 2021 | Photos Lerato Maduna. Video Edit Astroclutter Films.

At midnight on 26 March 2020, the country’s first official lockdown began, causing the University of Cape Town (UCT) to change its mode of thinking and being in order to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the university closed its campus spaces, some personnel remained on site to attend to essential services; UCT is indebted to them for maintaining these and other crucial resources and facilities. The new academic year in 2021 saw a slow return to campus, primarily in the residences. This process was conducted under strict health and safety protocols, which staff and students who have returned to campus continue to observe.


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UCT’s response to COVID-19 in 2021

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 regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.


Commemorating a year of COVID-19

At midnight on 26 March 2020, South African went into the first nationwide hard lockdown. A year later, we remember those who have died and those who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic’s effects across society and campus. We are especially grateful for the front-line health workers who have done so much for so many.

Frequently asked questions


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.