Media releases



First quarter


Power-line collisions threaten South African bird species
20 April 2018
With a rich community of large terrestrial birds, southern Africa is of particular importance for its unique diversity of bustards, with six of its 11 species endemic to the region.


UCT researchers call for new TB vaccine strategies for HIV-exposed infants
17 April 2018
Globally, tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the biggest challenges facing public healthcare systems in low-and-middle-income countries. South Africa is still considered a TB high-burden country, with TB being the leading fatal infectious disease, surpassing HIV.


South Africa to play key role in unprecedented international scientific expedition off Antarctica
10 April 2018
In an event held at The Royal Geographical Society in London today, it was announced that, during January/February 2019, a major international scientific expedition will explore one of the coldest, harshest and most remote locations in the world: the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.


UCT’s Psychology Department to host discussion on a global research initiative to address violence against children
10 April 2018
Approximately one billion children worldwide are victims of violence and abuse every year. The consequences are devastating and include poor neuro-cognitive development, emotional problems, externalising behaviours, substance use, and poor physical health including a shorter life expectancy.


UCT to honour struggle icon Chris Hani on 25th anniversary of assassination
9 April 2018
In recognition of the late anti-apartheid veteran, Chris Hani, the University of Cape Town (UCT) will celebrate the life and legacy of the inspirational leader, by renaming the New Science Lecture Theatre to the Chris Hani Lecture Theatre. This is to honour the late icon’s contribution to South Africa’s democracy.


UCT graduate proves through stubborn determination in the face of adversity anything is possible
4 April 2018
After nine long and difficult years, including being academically excluded four times, suffering from bouts of depression, and the birth of his baby girl, Siyabonga Mdlalose recently graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cape Town (UCT).


UCT graduation: celebrating success and honouring excellence
3 April 2018
The University of Cape Town will cap approximately 5 228 students in 14 graduation ceremonies, which got underway this morning and will be held until 11 April 2018.


Statement on the passing of struggle stalwart Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
3 April 2018
The University of Cape Town (UCT) joins the nation and the international community in mourning the passing away of one of the greatest struggle stalwarts in the fight against apartheid, Mrs Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela.


UCT graduate overcomes three death tragedies to achieve excellence
29 March 2018
After losing his father, brother-in-law and close friend in just over a month in his final year of undergraduate study, University of Cape Town (UCT) student Sipho Mbadaliga was unsure if he would be able to complete his degree.


UCT to honour Justice Mokgoro and Prof O’Connell
28 March 2018
The first black woman to be appointed to the Constitutional Court in post democratic South Africa, Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, and former Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Professor Brian O’Connell, will be awarded honorary degrees by the University of Cape Town (UCT) next week.


UCT student overcomes multiple odds to graduate – with a little help from the Student in Distress Fund
28 March 2018
Graduations are celebrations, but few realise the struggles that many students face in getting across the finish line. One such student is Nkululeko Dlamini, who overcame multiple difficulties to complete his studies engineering studies at the University of Cape Town.


Effort to develop vaccine to prevent progression from latent to active TB disease
24 March 2018
A global effort is underway to develop a new TB vaccine that blocks progression from the precursor phase of TB, so-called latent infection, to active disease. A vaccine that is effective in infected adults will be key to interrupting the cycle of transmission and halting the global epidemic.


UCT to raise awareness in district with high TB rate
23 March 2018
The University of Cape Town’s South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) has collaborated with the provincial Department of Education and other partners to mark World TB Day in the Cape Winelands district with an exhibition which will be hosted in three towns – Worcester, Stellenbosch and Robertson. World TB day is commemorated each year on 24 March.


UCT’s innovative research supports global ‘End TB Strategy’
23 March 2018
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious fatal disease in South Africa, outstripping HIV for the number one spot. Over the past decade, more than 3 million people have suffered from the disease and every year new cases are reported. TB kills about 270 people in South Africa every day. Addressing this epidemic requires bold initiatives aimed at treating the underlying cause rather than the symptoms.


Flight delays: A recent study finds out why some African birds stay home longer
22 March 2018
Parents of millennials still living at home are not the only ones with children that refuse to leave. Many animal species have adult offspring that are slow to take flight, but when and how they leave home has been poorly understood by scientists. But new research on a desert-dwelling African bird is now yielding some answers.


New facility launched at UCT to help astronomers in South Africa understand big data
22 March 2018
A first of its kind visualisation facility has been launched by the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where astronomers from around the country can explore their data and find answers to some of the biggest questions about our universe.


UCT students explore sustainable water treatment processes
20 March 2018
The water crisis in the Western Cape has necessitated for more attention to be placed on the growing need for innovation and research for industrial water treatment. While there are various technologies to treat mining wastewater to produce potable water, University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers are looking at industrial crystallisation which can be used to treat salt water.


Report reveals main motives of rising contract killings in South Africa
20 March 2018
A report released by the Assassination Witness project on contract killings in South Africa has revealed that the main motivations for assassinations were political, economic and social. The Assassination Witness project is a collaboration between the Centre for Criminology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC).


Poor living conditions and unemployment strongly linked to depression – UCT study reveals
19 March 2018
Individuals living in more deprived neighbourhoods in South Africa experience more depressive symptoms than their counterparts in wealthier neighbourhoods. This is according to a recent University of Cape Town (UCT) study published in the journal, BMC Psychiatry.


UCT climate scientist wins prestigious international award
19 March 2018
Professor Mark New, Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), has been named as the 2018 recipient of the Piers Sellers Prize for world-leading contributions to solution-focused climate research.


UCT Council officially announces Prof Phakeng as new Vice-Chancellor
17 March 2018
The University of Cape Town Council officially announced that Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor with effect from 1 July 2018.


Study by UCT academics prompts a call for a national ban on lead bullets
15 March 2018
A third of all vultures caught and tested in a Botswana study involving a University of Cape Town (UCT) academic showed elevated levels of lead in their blood, most likely due to ingesting lead bullet-contaminated flesh. Hunters' bullets shatter inside their prey and can then be absorbed into the blood stream of the vultures when they feed on these animals or their remains. This ingested lead is highly toxic to birds.


UCT academic joins UN Special Envoy in discussions over uncertain water future
9 March 2018
The University of Cape Town’s Dr Kevin Winter was part of a team of experts that joined the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Climate Action, Mike Bloomberg, on a tour of the Theewaterskloof Dam this week.


UCT and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems to collaborate on research
6 March 2018
A partnership between the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, which is based in Germany, has served as a stepping stone in developing new and innovative technologies for South Africa.


Three subjects at UCT ranked in the top 50 in the world
5 March 2018
The University of Cape Town has been ranked among the top 50 universities in the world in three subjects – development studies, geography and sport – in the 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject. A further eight subjects are in the top 100.


Update on the selection process for the new VC
1 March 2018
Following the public presentations by the two shortlisted candidates for the position of Vice-Chancellor and the interviews held last week, the selection committee presented their recommendation to Senate this afternoon.


Visiting United States law Professor Davis to deliver talk on ‘Power, Prosecution and Racism’
27 February 2018
The Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town will host US law Professor Angela J Davis, who is an expert in prosecutorial power and racism in the US criminal justice system, on 1 March.


Better access to research is vital to advance healthcare in Africa, UCT study finds
26 February 2018
Researchers from the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cape Town found that one in six African emergency care publications are inaccessible outside institutional library subscriptions and therefore not accessible to African researchers.


Small plastic pollution on South African beaches comes from local sources – UCT study
26 February 2018
A study of the small plastic fragments on South Africa’s beaches repeated every 10 years since the mid-1990s has found that most plastic pollution derives from local sources. This is important, because it means that we cannot blame distant nations with much larger plastic industries for the poor state of many of our beaches and adjacent coastal waters.


UCT civil engineering student wins top national award for water project on waterless urinals
21 February 2018
With Cape Town experiencing the worst drought in over a century and facing the possibility of Day Zero, a University of Cape Town (UCT) Civil Engineering graduate has won a prestigious award for a project on waterless urinals.


Results from innovative tuberculosis vaccine trial show potential for new revaccination strategies
20 February 2018
Scientists from the University of Cape Town’s South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation will present the findings of an innovative clinical trial that provides encouraging new evidence that TB vaccines could prevent sustained TB infections in high-risk adolescents.


UCT research group notes shortcomings in the National Minimum Wage Bill
19 February 2018
The Department of Labour is considering one of the biggest changes to South Africa’s labour laws since 1995 by, amongst other things, introducing a National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NMW Bill will set a wage of at least R20 for workers across all sectors of the economy subject to lower wages in the domestic and farming sectors.


UCT and Eskom partnership brings change in the energy sector
19 February 2018
A new research group, the Applied Thermo Fluid Process Modelling Research Unit (ATProM), is building on an existing collaboration between the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Eskom to provide engineers with up-to-date research, students with real-world experience and solutions to some of the challenges facing ageing energy infrastructure in South Africa.


UCT study to uncover why brains seize
15 February 2018
Over the past five years, a University of Cape Town (UCT) scientist has been able to establish the necessary local technology to study the function of individual brain cells which aims to uncover why brains seize – resulting in the development of epileptic seizures.


UCT scientists drive genomics research in tackling diseases endemic to Africa
13 February 2018
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Hearing Impairment Genetics Studies in Africa has been awarded grant funding by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) for cutting-edge research. The research offers the potential to identify genes that cause non-syndromic hearing loss – loss of hearing that is not associated with other signs and symptoms.


Invitation: UCT hosts open lecture on Cape Town water crisis
12 February 2018
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Future Water Institute, will host an open lecture by Dr Kevin Winter on Monday, 12 February. The lecture is titled: “Cape Town’s water crisis before Day Zero”.


UCT helps public schools to improve the quality of education in South Africa
12 February 2018
In South Africa many low and no-fee public schools are poorly equipped for the challenge of educating children affected by hunger, poverty, violence or ill-health. To ensure quality education for these learners, schools need to improve their skills in leading and sustaining partnerships with social purpose organisations and governments.


UCT leading programme to reduce child death rates in Africa
08 February 2018
The University of Cape Town (UCT)'s African Paediatric Fellowship Programme (APFP) is addressing the paediatric medical skills shortage in Africa to prevent treatable diseases and infections responsible for the deaths of these children.


UCT update on student accommodation
7 February 2018
The University of Cape Town has had approximately 86% of students with accommodation offers placed at residences on campus as at Tuesday, 06 February 2018. The university is, at this stage, aware of only 80 students who were made accommodation offers but were yet to be placed.


UCT community urged to step up water saving measures
30 January 2018
Discussions on the University of Cape Town’s response to Day Zero have begun and the university is developing contingency plans.


UCT Business School receives top international accreditation
24 January 2018
The University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) has once again been awarded the highly regarded Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation, effective for the next five years. This cements the GSB’s reputation as one of the top business schools in the world.


UCT to assist walk-in applicants
23 January 2018
The University of Cape Town is currently engaging various internal stakeholders on how to handle walk-in applications. The university’s commitment is to assist walk-ins as best as possible and processes are being put in place to enable this.


UCT community urged to step up water saving measures
23 January 2018
The University of Cape Town executive has issued the below communication appealing to the university community to step up water saving measures and providing an update on the institution’s plan to continue operations should the city reach Day Zero.


UCT to consult with Khoisan community over Sara Baartman Memorial Hall renaming
19 January 2018
The University of Cape Town Council will take the decision on the renaming of the Memorial Hall to Sara Baartman Memorial Hall after consultation by the Names of Building Committee with the Khoisan community.


UCT statement on the impact of the water crisis
18 January 2018
The University of Cape Town is at this stage not facing the risk of any research activities having to be curtailed as a result of the water crisis in Cape Town.


Where technology and ecology meet: using big data in fynbos studies
18 January 2018
While the term big data may not conjure up images of plants, Associate Professor Adam West from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT), is using this technology to accurately map ecosystems.


Paperless laboratories for researchers at UCT
16 January 2018
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) eResearch department is being steered in the direction of a paperless tracking solution to researchers across the university. A major part of patenting intellectual property in research is the ability to provide evidence in the form of meticulous record-keeping and verification of the lab activities.


Injectable birth control may raise HIV infection risk by 40%
08 January 2018
The intramuscular injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA, may raise the risk for HIV infection by 40% in women, according to research published recently in Endocrine Reviews. Research indicates alternative contraception methods may help protect women.


Imbizo brings together African students with world’s leading computational neuroscientists
04 January 2018
The University of Cape Town (UCT), together with the University College London (UCL) and the University of Oxford, will host a prestigious summer school in January 2018 to help develop computational neuroscience in Africa.


Surgical patients are twice as likely to die in Africa – UCT study
04 January 2018
When compared to the global average, one in five surgical patients in Africa, who are generally young and fit, will develop complications, and 2% will die following surgery. This mortality rate is twice the global average for surgical mortality, which is 1%.