Media releases

Media releases


Second quarter


Engaged scholarship needed to understand the socio-cultural, political and economic implications of COVID-19
1 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 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.


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.