Media releases

Media releases


Third quarter


Translating geology terms into isiXhosa to represent diversity
13 August 2020
A project led by UCT lecturer Dr Rosalie Tostevin is translating segments of South Africa’s rich geological record into official languages other than English, starting with isiXhosa. The project aims to better represent the diversity of languages spoken in South Africa and help connect people who have historically been excluded from scientific discourse with their geological heritage.


UCT emergency medicine team shares lessons learnt from COVID-19
13 August 2020
Healthcare workers at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, including members of the UCT's Division of Emergency Medicine, have experienced unprecedented levels of collaboration in their efforts to care for patients.


Managing nuisance Egyptian geese on golf courses in Cape Town
12 August 2020
A collation and follow-up of research recently published in the African Journal of Wildlife Research shows that the reluctance of golf course managers to adopt effective solutions to control the nuisance impact of Egyptian geese is not a failure of science but rather a failure of the process of effectively mitigating a wildlife management conflict.


UCT event to celebrate womxn’s achievements
12 August 2020
For the first time, three UCT female leaders will come under one virtual roof to commemorate women’s month.


UCT survey reveals remote learning highs and lows amongst students
07 August 2020
Results from a survey conducted among UCT students in July 2020, about their experiences of emergency remote teaching, reveal the highs and lows of remote learning and offer valuable guidelines for teaching online in the third and fourth terms.


UCT scientists develop Ubuntu Booth to protect frontline healthcare workers
07 August 2020
With the spirt of ubuntu in mind, a team of scientists at UCT have put their heads together to develop a special COVID-19 testing station to safeguard healthcare workers at the coalface of the pandemic.


KwaZulu-Natal outstanding teacher wins UCT 2020 Stella Clark Teachers’ Award
06 August 2020
Every year UCT honours a high school teacher who has been nominated by a former learner who is now studying at UCT. The learner sends a motivation to a committee stating why their teacher is suitable for this accolade. This year, the winner of the 2020 Stella Clark Teachers’ Award is Mr Hebert Muzi Gumbi, who teaches Accounting at Mathunjwa High School in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal.


Inequalities in higher education are one of the forces of rising inequality
05 August 2020
What is the role of economic resources in determining opportunities in academic education and research, freedom in the positive sense? This was the focus of the University of Cape Town TB Davie Memorial lecture presented by Professor Ravi Kanbur. As a professor at Cornell University in the United States Kanbur researches and teaches in development economics, public economics and economic theory. He is also a former chief economist for Africa at the World Bank.


Economic inequality and academic freedom
05 August 2020
While the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on economies across the globe, there has been a focus on persisting disparities in our communities. Higher education is not immune to this.


Net conservation impacts of COVID-19 will be strongly negative in Africa – new research
04 August 2020
A new research study, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, argues that the net conservation impacts of COVID-19 will be strongly negative in Africa unless effective mitigation actions are put in place. While there have been some positive environmental outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, these are likely temporary and prone to reversal when travel restrictions ease and countries return to business as usual.


UCT-led programme responds to critical need for youth support
31 July 2020
A programme led by the UCT’s Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit is providing the basis for the implementation of an intervention to support South African youth who are not in employment, education or training.


Domestic cats impact Cape Town conservation areas
30 July 2020
New research published this week in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation shows that Cape Town’s domestic cats are killing far more animals than previously realised – more than five times the number of animals they bring home. The research highlights the need to address the impact of cat predation on Cape Town’s wildlife, particularly near protected areas such as the Table Mountain National Park.


Groote Schuur Hospital and UCT contributing to global COVID-19 intensive care study
30 July 2020
Groote Schuur Hospital and UCT have joined a global alliance of clinicians and scientists dedicated to sharing clinical insights and using cutting edge technology to find more effective treatments for the most critically ill COVID-19 patients.


UCT to finish 2020 academic year through remote teaching
27 July 2020
In consultation with faculties and with student representatives, the University of Cape Town executive has decided to finish the 2020 academic year through remote teaching. This decision, which implies a change in the academic calendar, has been approved by Senate and Council.


Internationally acclaimed UCT musician retraces trading history through song
22 July 2020
A three-part musical by internationally renowned UCT composer, cellist, and cultural thinker Dr Thokozani Mhlambi will be virtually staged from the Baxter Theatre on Thursday, 23 July 2020 at 20:00.


Statement by the UCT Chair of Council on recent developments
21 July 2020
Following recent developments at UCT, the Chair of Council Ms Babalwa Ngonyama has issued the following statement to the campus community.


UCT gets government funding to boost COVID-19 testing capability
21 July 2020
UCT's Biopharming Research Unit, under the leadership of Professor Ed Rybicki, has received government funding to assist in the production of diagnostic reagents for COVID-19.


Cigarette prices soar during lockdown, according to latest UCT study
21 July 2020
Recent research has shown that the average price of cigarettes has increased by nearly 250% compared to pre-lockdown levels. Based on a second online survey, conducted between 4 and 19 June 2020, researchers from UCT found that the average price per cigarette was R5.69, or R114 per pack of 20. Some respondents reported prices as high as R300 per pack of 20 or R3000 per carton of 200 cigarettes. This is significantly higher than the 90% increase in cigarette prices observed in an earlier survey in May 2020 by the same research team.


Convalescent plasma investigated as a possible COVID-19 therapy
21 July 2020
Investigators at UCT are working with the South African National Blood Service and the Western Cape Blood Service to conduct the PROTECT-patient trial.


Statement by the UCT executive relating to the Ombud’s report
20 July 2020
The UCT executive has issued to the campus community the following statement relating to the Ombud’s report.


Targeted interventions in patients with minimal TB symptoms needed to minimise spread
20 July 2020
“A burgeoning epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) threatens to derail global control efforts of the disease” and countries like South Africa must shift gear to actively search out drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cases. Renowned researcher Professor Keertan Dheda made this point in a recent paper published in the leading medical journal Nature Medicine.


New species of plant discovered in Tokai Park
17 July 2020
A new species of sedge, the Hidden Veldrush (Schoenus inconspicuus) which is listed as critically endangered, has been discovered in Tokai Park. The plant is currently known from fewer than 10 plants on the planet and has only been collected six times at two localities.


UCT extends undergraduate applications deadline for 2021 admission
17 July 2020
UCT has extended the applications deadline for undergraduate admission in 2021 to 31 August 2020.


Humans need to do better if we’re to avoid ocean system collapse
17 July 2020
A new relationship between humanity and the ocean is required to secure the continuity of the diverse life support roles provided by the sea, according to a paper published on 17 July 2020 in Nature Communications.


An economy that works for all citizens – Colin Coleman’s ‘ten-point plan’
15 July 2020
“South Africa is in trouble.” This was the opening line of a lecture presented at the University of Cape Town by Colin Coleman, former head of investment banking for sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs and senior fellow and lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.


Colin Coleman shares insights on creating an economy for all South Africans
15 July 2020
Apartheid's legacy two-speed economy, and the fault lines exposed by COVID-19, has shone a light on South Africa's food security, inequality and unemployment challenges.


Reminder: From a two-speed economy to one for all South Africans
14 July 2020
Apartheid's legacy two-speed economy, and the fault lines exposed by COVID-19, has shone a light on South Africa's food security, inequality and unemployment challenges.


UCT Council elects female chair and deputy
13 July 2020
For the first time in the University of Cape Town’s history, the two key roles of chair of Council and deputy chair will be simultaneously occupied by women.


Four UCT subjects ranked in global top 100
13 July 2020
UCT has been ranked among the top 100 universities in four subject areas by the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 recently released by ShanghaiRanking. The subjects are oceanography, mining and mineral engineering, public health, and clinical medicine.


UCT GSB Executive MBA ranked in global top 50
08 July 2020
UCT GSB has sealed its reputation as one of Africa’s top business schools. Its Executive MBA has moved up to 45th place in the world on the prestigious 2020 Quacquarelli Symonds ranking of Executive MBAs, making it the only African business school to feature in the top 50.


Access to illegal firearms plays a huge role in Cape Town’s crime crisis
08 July 2020
A recent report by the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice ranked Cape Town as the eighth most violent city in the world. Dr Guy Lamb, director of the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town, said access to illegal firearms plays a huge role.


From a two-speed economy to one for all South Africans
08 July 2020
Apartheid's legacy two-speed economy, and the fault lines exposed by COVID-19, has shone a light on South Africa's food security, inequality and unemployment challenges.


Limited UCT students and staff to return to campus
07 July 2020
UCT has finalised the development of a COVID-19 return to UCT policy framework to guide faculties and departments on the phased-in return to campus.


UCT medical team assists in the CTICC ‘Hospital of Hope’
07 July 2020
UCT staff members from the Faculty of Health Sciences are part of a team involved in the operation of the ‘Hospital of Hope’ at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The CTICC was repurposed into an 862-bed field hospital as part of the Western Cape Government’s health strategy to increase capacity to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its communities.


Africa must bridge digital divide to adapt to e-learning technology, UCT study
01 July 2020
Research by UCT PhD student Matthias Krönke reveals that 34 African countries – surveyed for his paper titled “Africa’s digital divide and the promise of e-learning” – are on strikingly different levels when it comes to this fast-emerging global phenomenon.

Second quarter


UCT media professor to address first WHO infodemiology conference
30 June 2020
Professor Herman Wasserman from UCT has been invited to deliver a keynote address at WHO's first infodemiology conference which is taking place from 30 June to 16 July 2020.


Employers urged to fund healthcare of the COVID-19 prone poor
30 June 2020
UCT's Professor Athol Williams has proposed a way through which the government can lift the nationwide lockdown in the interest of the poor.


South African youth hit hard by COVID-19, UCT study finds
29 June 2020
Over 60% of young people aged between 18 and 34 in South Africa are “very worried” about COVID-19, with many of them uncertain about the future and if there will be jobs for them.


UCT to host virtual sessions on global collaborations in higher education amid COVID-19 disruption
26 June 2020
UCT will host a series of virtual events that will rethink global collaborations for a sustainable and equitable planet following the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of higher education international activities and the financial models on which universities increasingly depend.


Global Citizen Programme redesigned with African focus
25 June 2020
After a successful decade of teaching UCT students the value of paying it forward and the importance of participating in critical conversations, UCT’s Global Citizenship Programme has been redesigned with an African focus at the heart of its curriculum.


UCT investigating allegations against lecturer
25 June 2020
The University of Cape Town is investigating allegations of gender-based violence made on social media against a lecturer.


App helps reduce queues at beauty and hair salons
25 June 2020
The Fleeker platform, founded by four UCT students, allows users to schedule appointments with hairstylists, barbers, make-up artists and nail technicians – and beat the long in-salon queues with the click of a button.


Return of researchers, postdoctoral fellows and research-based postgraduates to UCT campus
17 June 2020
Following the recent update by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng on UCT developing a framework for returning to campus, the university is working on getting researchers, postdoctoral fellows and research-based postgraduates back to campus


Online peer study programme launched to support students amid pandemic
12 June 2020
The University of Cape Town’s Residence Life Division has launched its pilot Study Buddy online student peer programme to support residence students who are now learning and studying off-site as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


UCT engineers create face shield easily made with household items
11 June 2020
In response to the Coronavirus crisis, Associate Professor Sudesh Sivarasu and his team of biomedical engineers at the University of Cape Town have been working on a variety of biomedical devices, including a face shield that can be made easily with household items.


UCT retains top university ranking on the continent
11 June 2020
UCT has been ranked the top university on the continent by the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings 2021. These latest rankings place UCT 220th in the world.


UCT Careers Service rapidly adapting to global work revolution due to COVID-19 pandemic
10 June 2020
A lot has changed in the past three months. In January 2020 the University of Cape Town Careers Service was gearing up to continue its hard work to prepare graduates for a world that will impose increasingly greater complexity on them and require them to be ever more agile. This work included preparing graduates to gear up for a world of work that would undoubtedly challenge their traditional understanding of the world of work, particularly in light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


New research calls for better probiotics for vaginal health
10 June 2020
Newly isolated strains of vaginal Lactobacillus bacteria perform better than those currently used in South African vaginal probiotics. This is according to recent research published by an international team led by the University of Cape Town.


Most fibers floating in the world’s oceans are not plastic but dyed cellulose - study
09 June 2020
Microfibres are fine strands of thread used to make clothing, carpeting and household items like mops. They are found in the air or water and throughout the world’s oceans. Natural, rather than synthetic, microfibres, though, make up the majority of those found in the ocean’s surface waters – despite the fact that currently two-thirds of all human-produced fibres are synthetic.


Wealth, Water and Wildlife – new study finds more biodiversity in richer neighbourhoods, especially in dry regions
09 June 2020
A unique global study has found that wealthier neighbourhoods in cities have more biodiversity in comparison to poorer ones – a pattern that scientists have called the ‘Luxury Effect’. However, this study found that this ‘effect’ is far greater in the more arid regions of the world.


Ethical use of drones in a COVID-19 pandemic national emergency response program
08 June 2020
In an era in which technologies are transforming society rapidly, there is a need for ethical frameworks and normative standards where societal values must be promoted as priorities.


Protecting the ocean genome to ensure greater equity
08 June 2020
The vast array of species that inhabit the oceans has already proven to be an important source of innovative resources, including enzymes for COVID-19 testing and a protein valuable in the fight against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.


Statement by the UCT executive on research paper by academic
05 June 2020
The executive of the University of Cape Town noted with concern the publication in the South African Journal of Science of a research paper by UCT Professor Nicoli Natrass titled “Why are black South African students less likely to consider studying biological sciences?”


Ebola a blueprint for African philanthropy in COVID-19 crisis
04 June 2020
Philanthropic responses to the COVID-19 crisis in Africa should be guided by the blueprint that Ebola provided in West Africa, said Carl Manlan, chief operating officer of the EcoBank Foundation in Togo. He was one of three speakers in the final session of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Africa Month Virtual Symposium.


UCT academic gets dual honours from international communication body
04 June 2020
UCT's Centre for Film and Media Studies director, Professor Herman Wasserman, has received two honours from the International Communication Association, the world’s largest academic association for those engaged in the broad discipline of communication.


New study explores establishing a new Bearded Vulture population in South Africa
03 June 2020
The Bearded Vulture is one of the most threatened vultures in southern Africa with only around 100 breeding pairs left in the wild. While the species could once be found in both the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, its range is now restricted to the Maluti-Drakensberg mountains of Lesotho and South Africa.


UCT students to receive 100% fee rebate on dropped courses
02 June 2020
The University of Cape Town Council has decided that students who drop courses between now and Friday, 5 June 2020, will receive a 100% fee rebate.


Special COVID-19 screening tool for workers developed
01 June 2020
Public health specialists at UCT, in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, have developed a useful screening tool that assesses whether workers are healthy enough to return to work.


Giant mustelids roamed South Africa 5 million years ago - study
01 June 2020
Over five million years ago wolf-sized otters and leopard-sized relatives of living wolverines (members of the weasel family that look more like badgers than wolves) lived along the West Coast of South Africa. This is according to recent discoveries by scientists at the University of Cape Town and Iziko Museums of SA.


NBTs will not be part of the admission criteria to UCT in 2021
31 May 2020
The National Benchmark Tests have been a requirement for undergraduate admission at the University of Cape Town. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the testing programme, the NBTs will not be part of the admission criteria to UCT in 2021.


COVID-19 patients who undergo surgery are at increased risk of postoperative death – global study
29 May 2020
Patients undergoing surgery after contracting COVID-19 are at a significantly increased risk of postoperative death, a new global study published in The Lancet reveals. Researchers found that amongst COVID-19 positive patients who underwent surgery, mortality rates approach those of the sickest patients admitted to intensive care after becoming infected with the Coronavirus in the community.


UCT developing framework for the safe return of staff and students
29 May 2020
The University of Cape Town is developing a framework for the safe return of staff and students in a co-ordinated and phased manner. After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the country will be moving to Level 3 of the lockdown from 1 June 2020, the framework being developed will be in line with the guidelines provided by national government.


World Economic Forum honours young UCT women scientists
27 May 2020
University of Cape Town’s women scientists, Dr Sarah Fawcett and Professor Salome Maswime, have been hand-picked for the prestigious Young Scientists programme. Every year, the World Economic Forum selects an elite group of researchers under the age of 40 to participate in the programme.


Free online maths tutoring service helps matrics during lockdown
27 May 2020
University of Cape Town medical student, Ilyaas Amien started his free, online maths tuition service – Tutonic – in 2017. It has now become a vital resource for many high school learners during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Virtual Africa Month symposium to discuss the continent’s innovations in fight against COVID-19
27 May 2020
A three-day virtual Africa Month public symposium, co-hosted by the University of Cape Town Convocation and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance in collaboration with the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism, gets underway this morning.


Global study to test malaria drug to protect health workers from COVID-19
26 May 2020
An international group of physicians and scientists, including the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand, is establishing a research network to evaluate promising therapies for COVID-19 with a boost of $9 million in philanthropic support.


UCT alumnus creates new app to connect vetted suppliers and buyers of PPE in South Africa
26 May 2020
UCT alumnus and co-founder of Coronapp, Tamir Shklaz, has yet again responded to the challenges of the pandemic – this time by facilitating the buying and selling of much-needed personal protective equipment in South Africa.


Free online training on ethical reporting on violence against children
25 May 2020
The Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town in conjunction with Media Monitoring Africa will host a free online training on Reporting on Violence Against Children from 27-28 May 2020.


New transcriptomic blood test to screen for TB disease and monitor response to TB treatment
25 May 2020
Researchers from the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative at the University of Cape Town, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle, and a large consortium of collaborators have developed a new simple blood-based test that can identify healthy individuals who are at risk of developing TB disease, identify those with subclinical or clinical disease, and can inform how well a patient would respond to TB treatment.


A smartphone app to improve engagement in HIV care for peripartum women – new trial
22 May 2020
Postpartum women and their infants in South Africa are known to be at high risk of dropping out of HIV care after delivery and are frequently mobile. A new randomised controlled trial involving a smartphone app – CareConekta – aims to investigate and address this risk during the peripartum period by investigating the feasibility, acceptability and initial efficacy of using CareConekta to improve this engagement.


Milestone in translation of first web application into isiXhosa for students
22 May 2020
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has marked a milestone with the translation of the wish, outcome, obstacle, plan (WOOP) web application into isiXhosa. The app is a self-regulating, goal-setting intervention that is available in 12 main international languages. isiXhosa is the first African vernacular language translation.


UCT institute partners with health department to produce COVID-19 resources to equip low-income communities
20 May 2020
The Knowledge Translation Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Lung Institute is producing a range of COVID-19 resources to equip communities and healthcare workers living and working in under-resourced areas in the country with important information and ways to stop the spread of the virus.


UCT will follow a four-phase approach to students’ return to campus
19 May 2020
Three groups of students – final-year medical students, academically vulnerable students and those needing to access campus labs to complete their 2020 studies – will be the first to return to campus in a phased process. This was announced by Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation and Student Affairs, Professor Loretta Feris during a special online special assembly hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng on Thursday, 14 May.


Study finds strong link between bacteria of the human penis and viral STIs among South African men
19 May 2020
Male circumcision is known to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and impact the penile microbiota, also known as bacterial communities. One study suggested that the presence of specific bacteria is a risk factor for HIV acquisition in men. Despite this and the high burden of HIV in South Africa, there is currently no data about the link between HIV and penile microbiota in a South African cohort. In addition, potential association between penile microbiome and HPV has not been reported anywhere in the world.


Vice-Chancellor hosts special online staff assembly on UCT’s COVID-19 response
15 May 2020
Over 3000 University of Cape Town staff members were part of an online staff assembly hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, on 14 May 2020.Professor Phakeng and other members of the UCT executive provided updates on the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The executive members included the three Deputy Vice-Chancellors – Associate Professor Lis Lange: Teaching and Learning, Professor Loretta Feris: Transformation and Student Affairs and Professor Sue Harrison: Research and Internationalisation – as well as the COO Dr Reno Morar and the Registrar Royston Pillay.


Research study shows that a majority of smokers bought cigarettes during the lockdown
15 May 2020
Most smokers have been able to purchase cigarettes during the lockdown period, according to a recent research report published by a research unit at the University of Cape Town. However, smokers have had to pay a substantially higher price for these cigarettes. Many smokers have had to purchase other unfamiliar brands, as their favourite brands were often unavailable during the lockdown.


UCT notes social media remarks by staff member
15 May 2020
The University of Cape Town confirms that it has noted the social media posts that were said to be made by a university staff member earlier in the week and that were alleged to be racist in nature.


UCT young researchers selected for prestigious fellowship to contribute to Science in Africa
15 May 2020
Four young researchers from UCT have been selected to form part of the 2020 cohort of Future Leaders – African Independent Research (FLAIR) fellows. These fellowships are awarded to talented African early-career researchers whose work is focused on solving the needs of the continent.


COVID-19 disruption will lead to 28 million surgeries being cancelled worldwide – 146 000 in South Africa
14 May 2020
Over 28 million elective surgeries across the globe could be cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – leading to patients facing a lengthy wait for their health issues to be resolved, a new study reveals.


Racist social media remarks by UCT staff member unacceptable
13 May 2020
The University of Cape Town notes and firmly condemns a series of social media remarks by a staff member of the institution. UCT deplores in the strongest way possible any act, conduct or statement of a racist nature by a university staff member or student. The university has a zero-tolerance stance towards racism and emphasises that racism– like all other forms of discrimination – has no place in the UCT community or anywhere else in our society.


Discovery of rhodoliths: coral-like structures that offer food and shelter for marine animals
13 May 2020
A team of scientists, including a group from UCT, have discovered a bed of rhodoliths – free-living, coral-like structures that offer food, shelter and nursery space for marine animals – in the newly proclaimed Amathole Offshore Marine Protected Area off South Africa’s east coast. This underwater environment is the first of its kind found in South Africa’s ocean.


UCT student’s smart UVC sanitiser has multi applications
12 May 2020
UCT electrical engineering student Rowyn Naidoo is finalising the design of an affordable, smart short-wavelength ultraviolet-C light system that disinfects surfaces, the air and large rooms – and even face masks, making them reusable. The research is in response to Professor Amit Mishra’s challenge to engineering students to design devices to help counter COVID-19.


Inclusive new economy must prioritise citizens with disabilities
11 May 2020
When President Cyril Ramaphosa detailed a R500 billion relief package for the nation under threat of COVID-19, he also said that government would take the opportunity to build an inclusive new economy. Riding on this are the hopes of thousands of citizens with disabilities – 7.5% of the population.


The lockdown effects on sleep patterns and cognitive function
11 May 2020
A consortium of researchers from UCT, Wits and Rhodes universities are investigating the effects of the lockdown on daily routine as it relates to lifestyle behavioural factors (sleep, physical activity, work, meal timing, screen time, etc) and associations with anxiety and depression.


UCT’s contribution to expansion of South Africa’s social assistance programme during COVID-19
07 May 2020
A University of Cape Town research into the socio-economic conditions of poor and vulnerable South Africans during the COVID-19 pandemic has been instrumental in convincing the government to expand the current social protection system.


Buy the Baxter a cup of coffee – a fundraising campaign
06 May 2020
The Baxter Theatre based at UCT has had to stop operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown.


How stokvels manage their activities outside courts, UCT study finds
06 May 2020
The South African stokvel sector is massive and controls vast financial resources. It holds an estimated R49.5 billion in member savings and has some 11.6 million participants. Stokvels are part of the informal economy and as such are largely beyond the reach of the law.


Platform launched to help young mothers struggling during COVID-19
05 May 2020
The Messages for Mothers platform launched by the Perinatal Mental Health Project is a one-stop online resource developed in response to COVID-19 and the lack of targeted messaging for vulnerable mothers who are concerned for their children, families and themselves.


Close to R7m raised through UCT COVID-19 emergency fund
30 April 2020
Approximately R6.8 million has been raised so far through the University of Cape Town COVID-19 emergency fund, with some of the crucial needs covered including a R16.4 million laptops purchase.


Statement on the passing of struggle stalwart Dr Denis Goldberg
30 April 2020
UCT joins the nation and the international community in mourning the passing of one of the greatest stalwarts in the fight against apartheid and UCT alum, Dr Denis Goldberg.


Project launched to combat spread of COVID-19 fake news
29 April 2020
The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change, incubated by the Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, has launched a six-month project that will use social media analytics and advocacy to combat the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa and beyond.


Students with disabilities prioritised in UCT online learning plan
29 April 2020
UCT has prioritised the needs of all students, placing particular focus on students with disabilities, to ensure the new, temporary learning methodology is tailored to their individual needs.


Data provisioning and laptop deliveries continuing at UCT
28 April 2020
UCT is continuing to attend to laptop deliveries and provisioning of data to students as urgently as possible.


UCT engineering students design portable hand sanitiser distiller
23 April 2020
To keep COVID-19 at bay, University of Cape Town students in the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment have designed a portable distillation vessel to make hand sanitisers. With sales of alcohol prohibited, the device puts surpluses to good use.


UCT sets up COVID-19 emergency fund
22 April 2020
UCT has set up a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency fund to assist in the fight against the virus and its impact on the UCT community.


UCT academics develop COVID-19 platform for less resourced communities
21 April 2020
With a lot of false information being spread about COVID-19 and the urgent need to prevent the spread of the disease to less resourced communities, the University of Cape Town’s Global Surgery division in the Faculty of Health Sciences has developed a platform for reliable and accessible information dissemination for communities without access to smart technology or data.


UCT provides data to students
20 April 2020
The University of Cape Town is providing pre-paid data to all students who have valid South African cell numbers as part of extensive support measures put in place for online learning.


UCT’s further plans for continuing academic year: setting the record straight
17 April 2020
The University of Cape Town has noted some confusion in the media and on social media, resulting from a claim that all students will return to campus on 1 September 2020.


New free to download picture book helps children understand COVID-19
16 April 2020
As part of the response to fight the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic, senior lecturer at the UCT Graduate School of Business Athol Williams and his artist wife, Taryn Lock, have produced the seventh book in their acclaimed Oaky children’s picture books series with a focus on the virus.


UCT welcomes zero-rating decision by Cell C and Telkom
13 April 2020
UCT is very pleased to announce that Cell C and Telkom have both agreed to the university’s request to zero-rate access to certain UCT websites.


First UCT student to test positive for COVID-19 fully recovers
08 April 2020
The University of Cape Town confirms that the first student to test positive for COVID-19 at the institution has now fully recovered. The student left self-isolation late last week.


UCT joins global climate change alliance
08 April 2020
The University of Cape Town has joined the newly established International Universities Climate Alliance (‘Climate Alliance’), which aims to help communicate research insights on the most effective means to meet the unprecedented global challenge of climate change.


Climate change to cause abrupt species loss this century
08 April 2020
What will the world’s biodiversity look like in the future? According to a new study the disruption of biodiversity from climate change on land and in the oceans will be abrupt and could be much sooner than we had expected, potentially affecting tens of thousands of species.


Research reveals gap in COVID-19 funding for businesses in townships
07 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the current lockdown are already having a devastating impact on South Africa’s economy, with informal and small businesses in townships likely to feel its impact most harshly.


Fossil discoveries rewrite human history
03 April 2020
An international team of researchers, including geologists from UCT, have unearthed the earliest known skull of Homo erectus, the first of our ancestors to be nearly human-like in their anatomy and aspects of their behaviour.


UCT confirms sixth case of COVID-19
02 April 2020
The University of Cape Town has been advised that a third student tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, 29 March 2020. The student is receiving medical support and identified contacts were traced and advised to go into quarantine.


Engaged scholarship needed to understand the socio-cultural, political and economic implications of COVID-19
01 April 2020
UCT’s Institute for the Humanities in Africa, along with international collaborators worldwide, has launched Corona Times, a space where engaged scholars from across the world offer detailed, rigorously researched, ethical expert commentary that explores ways to grasp the various facets of the current moment.


UCT rolls out survey on students’ study conditions off-campus and provides laptops to eligible students
01 April 2020
As the University of Cape Town leadership prepares to continue academic work in the context of COVID-19, the university is rolling out an urgent student access survey and distributing laptops to eligible needy students.

First quarter


Lockdown: UCT experts advise how to survive studying from home
31 March 2020
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led countries around the world to respond in unprecedented ways – self-isolation, social distancing, travel bans and, in South Africa, a 21-day lockdown – to curb the spread of the virus. For tertiary students the world over, studying is no different. Traditional lectures have stopped, leaving students with no option but to study from home too.


Cancellation of sport events creates significant void – UCT scientist
31 March 2020
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 has pulled the rug out from under sport – events have been cancelled or postponed, leaving competitors (and spectators) in a vacuum.


CoviID: new app to avoid future lockdowns
30 March 2020
After South Africans commenced a 21-day lockdown, a group of researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are working tirelessly on a smartphone app that could play an important role in managing future outbreaks of COVID-19 and economic recovery.


UCT student starts group to help the elderly during lockdown
30 March 2020
UCT Business Science student Kate Charter has started a volunteer group, Cape Town Against Corona, to assist elderly people in the city as they are at a significantly higher risk of complications should they contract the disease.


UCT welcomes R5 million from Motsepe Foundation for COVID-19 response
28 March 2020
UCT's chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, has announced a R5 million donation by the Motsepe Foundation to help the university manage its multi-faceted response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.


UCT condemns fake WhatsApp message
28 March 2020
UCT and Groote Schuur Hospital have noted a fake message doing the rounds on WhatsApp attributed to a "Head of Virology" commenting on the coronavirus disease 2019.


Second term at UCT to resume online on 20 April
27 March 2020
As the countrywide lockdown commenced, the University of Cape Town has a better view of how the academic calendar will change at the institution, when the term will restart, and how teaching and learning will take place.


UCT confirms fifth case of COVID-19
27 March 2020
In a fifth case of COVID-19 at the University of Cape Town, a student has tested positive for the virus. UCT previously confirmed four other cases – three staff members and a student. Unlike the previous four cases, this case was confirmed in KwaZulu-Natal.


Updates from UCT ahead of the lockdown
26 March 2020
Ahead of the countrywide COVID-19 lockdown, the University of Cape Town has provided updates on support services available for students and staff during these uncertain times, and on the university’s operational plan during the period.


Child abuse rates rise during school closures - positive parenting encouraged during COVID-19
26 March 2020
University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers have partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNICEF) to encourage constructive parenting during COVID-19 – they have released resources for parents during a time where countries across the world including South Africa go under lockdown.


More buses for students as UCT is set to close residences
24 March 2020
More buses have been arranged by the University of Cape Town for students who have requested travel assistance in light of the looming national lockdown to commence at midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020.


UCT alumni build ‘Coronapp’ platform
24 March 2020
In an effort to quell panic and provide South Africans with reliable and accurate information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), two University of Cape Town (UCT) alumni have built Coronapp, a centralised online platform for information about the disease.


Fourth case of COVID-19 confirmed at UCT
23 March 2020
The University of Cape Town confirms a fourth COVID-19 case at the institution. The latest case is of a postgraduate student. UCT previously confirmed three cases, all of them involving staff.


Teaching and learning to continue online at UCT
22 March 2020
The University of Cape Town is moving teaching and learning online to continue the academic programme during the second term of teaching and learning.


UCT redefining the workplace in response to COVID-19
22 March 2020
In line with the principle of social and physical distancing and in order to ensure the safety of staff, the University of Cape Town UCT is redefining the workplace to include working from home where appropriate.


UCT urges confidentiality in COVID-19 cases
22 March 2020
Based on the experience of three cases of staff members who tested positive for COVID-19, the University of Cape Town has called for confidentiality in relation to any reported cases.


UCT confirms third case of COVID-19
21 March 2020
The University of Cape Town confirms that a third staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. UCT has at this stage not had any student who has tested positive for COVID-19.


UCT shares plans for online teaching and learning
19 March 2020
The University of Cape Town has shared plans to move undergraduate courses online in all faculties – except in Health Sciences, for which a specific plan is being developed. Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange, indicated in an update to the university community that UCT will have to teach remotely during the second term.


UCT charters transport to assist students
19 March 2020
The University of Cape Town executive confirmed on Monday, 16 March 2020 that arrangements have been put in place to assist students vacating residences.


UCT confirms second COVID-19 case
19 March 2020
The University of Cape Town confirms that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. This is this the second confirmed case of COVID-19 at UCT.


UCT COVID-19 expert list
18 March 2020
The following academics at the University of Cape Town can be contacted by the media for comment on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects various sectors.


UCT puts additional measures to manage unprecedented public health emergency
18 March 2020
The University of Cape Town has put more measures in place to further manage the unprecedented and continuously changing public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


UCT puts travel measures in place to support students
16 March 2020
The University of Cape Town executive has put immediate measures in place to support students requiring assistance with vacating residences within 72 hours from 16 March 2020 due to the Coronavirus disease.


UCT suspends classes with immediate effect
15 March 2020
The University of Cape Town executive and the Leadership Lekgotla, following the address by the State President, Cyril Ramaphosa and on the advice of a range of agencies and health specialists, took a decision to break immediately for Term 1 vacation and to suspend classes as from and including Monday, 16 March 2020.


Centre has ‘Africanised’ neuroscience - Neuroscience Centre launched at Groote Schuur Hospital
13 March 2020
The launch of UCT's multidisciplinary Neuroscience Centre, established to execute inter- and cross-disciplinary research and fast-track novel treatment options for neurological disorders, is an important step towards “Africanising” the vital discipline of neuroscience in South Africa.


COVID-19: Update on mass gatherings, graduation and travel
13 March 2020
In line with national and international information, the University of Cape Town executive is taking the threat of the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) very seriously.


UCT among only 39 out of 200 institutions led by women
12 March 2020
The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020 recently revealed that just 39 of the top 200 institutions are led by women – and UCT is among them.


UCT events and interview opportunities
11 March 2020
The following events and interview opportunities are available at UCT for the upcoming week.


UCT to host chancellor’s installation
09 March 2020
The University of Cape Town will host an official installation ceremony for the new chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who took over this role at the beginning of the year.


Neuroscience Centre to be launched at UCT
09 March 2020
The Neuroscience Centre represents a high-level partnership between the Western Cape Department of Health and UCT. This purpose-built facility co-locates the clinical neuro-disciplines together with scientists and scholars in order to integrate and improve patient care, research, teaching, training and advocacy. It comprises a research component, the Neuroscience Institute, together with a patient care facility, the Neuroscience Clinical Unit.


UCT events and interview opportunities
05 March 2020
The following events and interview opportunities are available at UCT for the upcoming week.


Growing global emissions gap calls for switch into crisis mode, warns academics
05 March 2020
In a comment published in Nature, UCT Professor Harald Winkler, as part of an international team, delivers the bad news that the emissions gap is growing, while pointing to small signs of hope that the climate crisis can be addressed.


Crimes at sea cripple sustainable development – UCT study
04 March 2020
A surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia during the mid-2000s threatened global trade and other state interests to such an extent that an unprecedented global counter-response was mobilised. Navies formed coalitions while public–private partnerships combatted the more far-reaching effects.


Non-communicable diseases – identifying knowledge gaps and healthcare implementation challenges
28 February 2020
The South African Department of Health in collaboration with the Collaboration for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+) project will host a research symposium on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West on 4 March 2020.


Invite: Symposium on inclusive low-carbon sustainable transport system
28 February 2020
The Energy Systems Research group at UCT and the national Department of Transport will host a symposium on how South Africa can be set on a pathway to an inclusive low-carbon sustainable transport system.


The sandprawn is a champion water filterer – UCT study
27 February 2020
A study by three UCT researchers has found that sandprawns, best known as bait for fishing, have the ability to filter coastal water, thus combatting eutrophication – one of the major water quality challenges in the natural world.


Updated: National Budget Speech 2020 UCT expert list
26 February 2020
The following academics at the University of Cape Town can be contacted by the media for comment on the National Budget Speech.


National Budget Speech 2020 UCT expert list
24 February 2020
The following academics at the University of Cape Town can be contacted by the media for comment on the National Budget Speech.


Are we ready for genetically modified humans?
20 February 2020
In recent years researchers have been working hard to develop faster, cheaper, and more precise ways to remove, add or modify genes in living organisms. They now can change our human genome – not only in people who are alive, but also in those who are yet to be born. Gene editing technologies raise profound questions about what it means to be human, and the extent to which we want to push the boundaries towards enhancement.


Tech giant gives R2.7 million boost to UCT students for ICT skills development
20 February 2020
University of Cape Town (UCT) students have been awarded R2.7 million in bursaries to help create youth employment and bring more ICT skills to South Africa.


UCT warns against apparent conference scam
18 February 2020
The University of Cape Town has been alerted of an apparent scam advertising a 'Food Security & Hunger' conference that was initially said to be scheduled to take place on campus from 20-22 February 2020.


UCT SONA 2020 expert list
10 February 2020
The following academics at the University of Cape Town can be contacted by the media for comment on the State of the Nation Address.


Building stars, planets and the ingredients for life in space: A celebration of 50 years of astronomy at UCT
4 February 2020
The Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Maano Ramutsindela, and the head of department of astronomy, Professor Patrick Woudt, will host a talk in celebration of 50 years of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town, by Professor Ewine van Dishoeck, President of the International Astronomical Union.


UCT among top 40 international universities
31 January 2020
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been ranked 39th in the recently released Times Higher Education (THE) list of the 200 most international universities. These institutions collaborate on research across the world, have a strong reputation globally and have a high proportion of international students and staff.


New study sheds light on genetics of schizophrenia in South Africa
31 January 2020
A recent international study including several University of Cape Town researchers emphasises that rare genetic mutations may play an important role in the cause of the illness. The study, “Genetics of Schizophrenia in the South African Xhosa,” published in the journal Science, is the first genetic analysis of schizophrenia in an ancestral African population, the South African amaXhosa.


The “firewalkers” of Karoo: dinosaurs and other animals left tracks in a “land of fire”
30 January 2020
In southern Africa, dinosaurs and synapsids, a group of animals that includes mammals and their closest fossil relatives, survived in a “land of fire” at the start of an Early Jurassic mass extinction, according to a study published on 29 January 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE led by Associate Professor Emese M. Bordy, a sedimentologist at the University of Cape Town.


UCT honours late Professor Bongani Mayosi with befitting legacy project
29 January 2020
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is celebrating and honouring the legacy of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi through a collection of projects under the banner of the Bongani Mayosi Legacy Project. These include the library project, the Mayosi Research collaborative, the Bongani Mayosi Foundation and a permanent exhibition of his work, to name a few.


UCT creates unique programme to empower women in local government
22 January 2020
The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at UCT has partnered with the Local Government Sector Education and Training, the South African Local Government Association and Zenande Leadership Consulting to create a unique Local Government Women’s Leadership Development Programme.


Annual Doc Moss memorial match – UCT Rugby
22 January 2020
As part of their build up to Varsity Cup 2020, the Ikey Tigers will honour one of their favourite sons, the late Dr Cecil Moss, in their final pre-season game against Durbell on Friday, 24 January.


Innovative community-based intervention to identify undiagnosed TB cases
21 January 2020
Almost 350 000 cases of Tuberculosis (TB) go undiagnosed in South Africa every year. In an effort to revolutionalise TB diagnosis and treatment, an innovative tech-driven project, pioneered by a team of scientists at the UCT Centre for Lung Infection and Immunity, will take TB testing from the lab into the community.


Improving universal access to surgical care for patients – meet UCT’s new head of Global Surgery
20 January 2020
The thrill and excitement of the labour ward and the pure joy of witnessing a healthy mom receiving a healthy baby led to Associate Professor Salome Maswime, the new head of Global Surgery at the University of Cape Town (UCT), falling in love with the labour ward. But it was also the deep disappointment of losing a new mother that persuaded her that she needed to learn and do more.


South African vultures have their fill at ‘restaurants’ – new study
16 January 2020
There’s no menu and the food is sometimes rotten. Yet South Africa’s vulture restaurants are dishing up valuable information for researchers working to conserve Africa’s scavenger species, according to a new scientific study published in the International journal Animal Conservation.


Effective fisheries management critical in improving sustainable fishing
15 January 2020
Where fisheries are well managed, fish populations can recover. This is according to new international research co-authored by Dr Carryn de Moor, a senior research officer from the University of Cape Town’s Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and the Marine Resource Assessment and Management Group.