Media releases


Fourth quarter


UCT PhD thesis on shellfish is first of its kind for SA
15 December
PhD graduate Mariagrazia Galimberti will receive her doctorate in Archaeology (Faculty of Science) on Thursday, 16 December 2010, at 15:00 for the first study of its kind, undertaken in South Africa and on South African material. The study involved the reconstruction of the marine palaeoenvironment during the Middle Stone Age (300 000 to 30 000 years ago) – particularly the period between 115 000 and 50 000 years ago in South Africa – through the use of oxygen isotope analyses on 2 species of shellfish, Turbo sarmaticus and Donax serra.


Measure success in terms of social commitment – Price
15 December
There are few jobs as satisfying as sending UCT graduates out into the world. My colleagues and I have reason to celebrate – not only on the day of your graduation ceremony, but also in the years to come, as we read about UCT alumni who actively participate and contribute to the communities they work and live in.


UCT to graduate 84 doctoral candidates this month
14 December
The University of Cape Town will graduate a total of 84 Doctors of Philosophy at 12 ceremonies beginning at 15:00 on Wednesday, 15 December 2010. The total number of graduates for December 2010 is 5 062.


UCT honours pesticide researcher
02 December
Dr Hanna-Andrea Rother's work on the harmful effects of street pesticides on children's health and health policy has earned her the University of Cape Town's 2010 Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award.


UCT students to harness the wind to power high school PC lab - and inspire future engineers
01 December
The student branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at the University of Cape Town will unveil a wind turbine and a small solar panel installation at Oaklands High School in Lansdowne, Cape Town, on Thursday, 2 December at 12:00 as the first phase of a project they are spearheading to double the school's computer lab capacity while reducing the costs of running it. At the same time, they have been teaching basic principles of electrical engineering to high school learners, who designed and built 2 models of the project.


Global TB research body honours UCT professor
01 December
Dr Keertan Dheda, Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Cape Town, is the recipient of the 2010 Union Scientific Award, bestowed by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD). The annual global award honours a researcher under the age of 45 who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of tuberculosis and/or lung disease.


UCT conference to examine Labour Studies in 21st Century
01 December
The University of Cape Town is hosting a 3-day conference beginning today, 1 December 2010, titled: New Trends in Labour Studies: New Workplaces, Communities and Livelihoods. The conference is hosted by the Land and Livelihood Project in the Sociology Department at UCT, in association with Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust.


UCT researcher's book shines light on mysterious African bats
24 November
Insects and a few bird species usually get the credit for pollination, but fruit bats are known to pollinate more than 500 species of flowering plants worldwide. Fruit bats also help disseminate forest tree seeds and aid in habitat regeneration and restoration. In fact, as predators, pollinators and seed dispersers, bats worldwide play an important role in conservation science and biodiversity.


Sports drink is novel pay-off for UCT sport scientist
22 November
University of Cape Town Associate Professor Andrew Bosch's years of toil in a lab have culminated in the production of a new protein-based, muscle-recovery product called PeptoSport. Manufactured by DSM Nutritional Products South Africa as part of its Pepto range, the drink comes in powder form and is mixed with water.


UCT trauma and forgiveness scholar to deliver inaugural lecture
09 November
University of Cape Town's Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a researcher in the field of trauma, empathy and forgiveness and a former member of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will deliver her inaugural lecture at the university on Thursday 11 November.


How has humanity changed the weather?
09 November
It has just been the hottest hot season on record – or the driest wet season. The local television weather presenter is asked: "Are our past emissions of greenhouse gases to blame for this unusual weather event?" Until now there has been no dedicated service to address this sort of question.


New contact number for media at UCT
29 October
The media liaison office at the University of Cape Town has initiated a new cellphone line dedicated to media enquiries.


UCT architecture professor wins gold
29 October
Professor Jo Noero of the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town has won the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) Gold Medal for Architecture for his outstanding contribution to the field.


UCT Sports Awards embrace diversity
27 October
Unlike previous years where 1 or 2 sports clubs would hog the limelight and the awards, this year's University of Cape Town Sports Awards, held on Saturday, 23 October 2010, boasted a more equitable spread of accolades.


The Information Systems EXPO at UCT
27 October
New software innovations on display include:

  • A system to improve service delivery in the Western Cape that could save ratepayers a fortune.
  • A "green building" which will allow tenants to cut down on the building's carbon footprint.

UCT librarian wins Western Cape award
26 October
Ingrid Thomson, a librarian with the Humanities Information Division at the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library at the University of Cape Town, has been awarded the prestigious Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Western Cape Librarian of the Year award. She also finished third nationally, and received R10 000 from Sabinet towards professional development.


Hello, Madrid!
21 October
The University of Cape Town remains unbeaten in the South African round of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute's Global Investment Research Challenge, after winning the local round of the competition for the second year in a row. UCT's team, consisting of Emlyn Flint, Waseem Hassen, Tanya Höpker, Jade Misplon and Michail Scholiadis, managed to walk away with the laurels against strong competition from teams representing the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Pretoria (UP).


Dassie's toilet etiquette helps UCT researchers learn about climate change
18 October
Unlike a dog that will do his business all over the yard, a rock hyrax - also known as dassie or Procavia capensis – will, for his number ones and twos, go to the same spot as the rest of his colony, year in, year out.


UCT is investigating burning of Pink Week 'closet'
6 October
Security personnel at the University of Cape Town are investigating the destruction by fire of a "closet" structure that was installed by RainbowUCT, a student organisation promoting sexual diversity and human rights, in front of Jameson Hall on 4 October 2010 to help launch Pink Week.


UCT workshop to show power of Braille
05 October
"Braille is not a language, but the gateway to all languages and knowledge for people who are blind," says Reinette Popplestone, manager of UCT's Disability Unit. This is the message she wishes to convey at the Braille Awareness Workshop on Wednesday 6 October at the University of Cape Town. This joint initiative by UCT's Disability Unit, in partnership with the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will demonstrate how Braille empowers blind people.

Third quarter


Key to baboon management is people, says UCT researcher
28 September
It may be called "baboon management", but PhD researcher Bentley Kaplan of UCT's Department of Zoology says that people management is the most problematic component of the job. "Baboons are relatively easy to manage," he said. "People are far more difficult."


UCT students recruit local soccer hero to inspire Lavender Hill learners
27 September
Fourth-year occupational therapy (OT) students from the University of Cape Town's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences will run a holiday programme in Lavender Hill on 28 and 29 September, to help Grade 7 learners see how the positive choices they make today can help them lead successful lives.


Alice Walker to deliver 11th Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at UCT
07 September
The 11th annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture will be delivered at the University of Cape Town on Thursday, 9 September 2010, by Pulitzer Prize winner author, professor and activist Professor Alice Walker. Established in 2000, the lecture is the flagship programme of the Steve Biko Foundation and is the principal avenue through which the Foundation pursues a core element of its mission: to foster the intangible but essential community building blocks: history, identity, culture and values, as the foundation for leadership and agency at the level of the individual and the community.


Mbeki to address African Student Leaders Summit
06 September
Former president Thabo Mbeki will address delegates from 23 different universities in 10 African countries, as well as the University of Cape Town community, at the inaugural African Student Leaders Summit, hosted by UCT.


UCT Faculty of Health Sciences leads drug-resistant TB workshop
03 September
Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is in the spotlight at a workshop entitled "Current Practices, Controversies and Clinical Challenges", taking place in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT from 3 to 5 September 2010.


No injuries in organic chemistry lab explosion on UCT Upper Campus
22 August
An explosion occurred in an organic chemistry laboratory on the seventh floor of the PD Hahn Building at the University of Cape Town in the early hours of Thursday, 2 September 2010. Nobody was in the lab and there were no injuries. Damage to the facilities is being assessed.


Protection of Information Bill deserves academic scrutiny
22 August
The Protection of Information Bill touches on issues central to the functioning of a democratic society, such as security, government accountability, media freedom and responsibility. It is a debate in which the university must intervene because the consequences of restricted access to information impinge profoundly on the university's ability to do research and analyse public policy.


Come early to watch implosion, UCT advises
17 August
The University of Cape Town expects an influx of people eager to view the implosion of the Athlone cooling towers at 12:00 on Sunday, 22 August. UCT advises people to arrive early, bring a picnic brunch and enjoy the event from a prime viewing spot at the country's most beautiful campus.


UCT professor awarded national research chair in customary law
12 August
One of the top law scholars at the University of Cape Town, Professor Chuma Himonga, has been awarded the Department of Science and Technology National Research Foundation (DST/NRF) Chair in Customary Law, part of the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI). There are 82 chairs nationally and UCT holds about one-third of them.


Township entrepreneurs to learn business skills at UCT
06 August
60 young adults will launch into the Masizikhulise Entrepreneurship and IT program on Friday, 6 August. The semester-long program is run in Nyanga and Khayelitsha by UCT student volunteers, who teach business skills, enterprise management, IT training, and career guidance. The project facilitates the spread of skills and knowledge amongst young adults from different walks of life and taps into the potential for entrepreneurship and exciting initiatives in the townships.


UCT to host public dialogue on women's struggles
05 August
Women of all communities and age groups are invited to add their voices to a stimulating conversation on "Women's Struggles: From the Political to the Personal, the Global and Local", on Thursday, August 5, 2010, 17:30–19:30, at The Quad in the Kramer Building, Middle Campus at UCT. Entrance is free.


New UCT facility makes primary health care more accessible to Cape Flats residents
28 July
The University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences has officially launched a new student learning centre in the Cape Flats suburb of Retreat, where students will work and learn in the kinds of health-care conditions they will probably encounter often during their careers.


Child health – a call for action
27 July
Children are paying the price for South Africa's failure to progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. South Africa is one of only 12 countries that has failed to reduce child mortality since 1990.


Fossil fame for UCT zoologist
22 July
University of Cape Town zoologist Dr Gary Bronner has had a 5-million-year-old fossil of a mole named after him in recognition of his "major contributions" to understanding the biology of Africa's endemic and enigmatic golden moles.


Clean out your closet for Mandela Day, urges SHAWCO
16 July
The Student Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) at the University of Cape Town invites businesses and community organisations to collect unwanted clothing, belts and shoes, for Rags 2 Riches – a social entrepreneurial project that helps unemployed people make a living and develop business skills by selling quality donated goods in needy communities.


UCT/Sasol partnership yields groundbreaking invention
09 July
A partnership between Sasol and the University of Cape Town's Centre for Catalysis Research has yielded the invention of a device that will add great value to research in a variety of fields including nano-technology.


SARS not likely to score against World Cup players.
08 July
The excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is not just in the stadiums and fan parks; it's also in the bookkeeping. UCT PhD student Craig West focused his thesis - "The taxation effects for foreign international sportspersons" – on foreign athletes playing in South Africa and their staff. Included in his scope were the legislative provisions applicable to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


UCT scientists bring developing world's voice to climate change discussion
07 July
Five UCT researchers, among 12 from South Africa, have been selected to contribute to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


It's Pelé versus Mandela at UCT on Tuesday ... and spectators are welcome
05 July
Rural and township South African youth, playing on 6-a-side teams representing Brazilian hero Pelé and his longtime buddy Mandla Mandela, will fight it out on the University of Cape Town campus this afternoon

Second quarter


Study of parallel communities catches eye at Dak'Art
30 June
Svea Josephy, a senior lecturer of photography in the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, was awarded the prestigious Prix du Ministere de la Culture at Dak'Art 2010 - the ninth biennial of contemporary art in Dakar, Senegal, which was held from 7 May to 7 June 2010.


UCT soccer viewing area defies electricity failures
23 June
The Department of Chemical Engineering (ChemEng) at UCT dug deep into its creative resources to create a World Cup viewing area with a TV screen that keeps broadcasting even during electric power failures.


New UCT/NICD unit will track and study hospital-acquired infections
10 June
Hospital-acquired infections will be one of the focus areas of the Unit for Molecular Epidemiology in National Heath Laboratory Service (NHLS) laboratories at Groote Schuur Hospital. The unit is a joint venture between the University of Cape Town and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of the NHLS. It will be jointly headed by UCT professors Mark Nicol and Anna-Lise Williamson.


UCT awards Vice-Chancellor's Medal to Nobel Laureate
09 June
The University of Cape Town has awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Medal to Sir Aaron Klug, OM, FRS, Nobel Laureate, and outgoing chair of the UCT Trust in the UK. Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price presented the medal at the annual trustees meeting of the University of Cape Town Trust, a UK registered charity, in London on 19 May 2010.


Total of 1638 UCT students to be capped this week
02 June
The University of Cape Town will graduate 82 Doctors of Philosophy at 3 ceremonies on 3 and 4 June 2010. The total number of graduates for June 2010 is 1638. In addition, UCT will be recognising the achievements of 5 distinguished South Africans with the award of honorary degrees.


World Cup may stifle human rights, warns UCT researcher
28 May
New laws passed to meet the conditions for bringing the FIFA World Cup into South Africa could interfere with the country's obligation to protect human rights, according to research conducted at the University of Cape Town's Centre for Criminology. Sophie Nakueira, a PhD researcher at the centre, was part of a panel addressing a UCT seminar on 20 May, titled: "The FIFA footprint: What will be the World Cup's governance legacy?"


France awards knighthood to UCT professor
26 May
The French government honoured Dr Vanessa Everson, of the French Section in UCT's School of Languages and Literatures, with the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques award at a function on 18 May 2010.


UCT hosts international partnership to develop ocean climate forecast system
19 May
The University of Cape Town, the Nansen Environmental Centre in Norway and their partners are setting up a joint venture in South Africa to gather information about the 3 oceans around southern Africa, to better understand and deal with global change across the continent.


UCT climate change researcher honoured by National Research Foundation
12 May
Dr Gina Ziervogel of the University of Cape Town has been named as 1 of only 2 researchers in the country to be awarded a P-rating by the National Research Foundation. The P-rating singles out up-and-coming researchers under the age of 35 as potential national and world leaders in their fields.


UCT architecture students put cheer into chairs for homeless kids
10 May
UCT second-year architecture students will be handing in their assignments to a special team of examiners on Monday: the boys who live at The Bridge at Elukhuselweni, a children's home run by The Homestead Project for Street Children, will be trying out the 15 chairs that were designed for their TV lounge as part of the UCT School of Architecture programme.


Relaxers may cause permanent bad hair days, warns UCT researcher
05 May
The use of hair relaxers can lead to a rash of embarrassing hair and scalp conditions, including hair loss, especially when combined with extensions, weaves or braids, according to a recent study by UCT Associate Professor Dr Nonhlanhla Khumalo, who is based in the Division of Dermatology at Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children's Hospital.


UCT researchers win global award for technology breakthrough
29 April
UCT professors Margit Härting and David Britton received the Academic R&D Award at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe Awards 2010 in Dresden, Germany, on 13 April, as a result of their groundbreaking work in the field of printed technology. This technology allows electronic ink to be printed onto a substrate (the material on which an electrical circuit is built) where it works as a semiconductor that can carry electrical charges.


UCT hopes to open eyes with Blind Soccer tournament
21 April
The University of Cape Town's Disability Service, Student Representative Council and Sports Department are partnering with the League of the Friends of the Blind to host a Blind Soccer tournament on Saturday, 1 May 2010, to help create awareness around disability issues in general and sports involving participants with disabilities in particular.


HEU celebrates 20 years of research, teaching and policy contributions
20 April
The University of Cape Town's Health Economics Unit (HEU) - widely recognised as the leading health economics institution in Africa and one of the most respected such units among low- and middle-income countries - is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, 20 April 2010, at 17:30 at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town.


Record-breaking numbers to follow in Shuttleworth's footsteps
20 April
Long before entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth became the first African in space, he won gold in the University of Cape Town's annual Mathematics Competition. Today thousands of high school learners will be competing for the same prize - and who knows? One of them may someday venture further than Shuttleworth into a new frontier.


Soudien appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UCT
19 April
Professor Crain Soudien, who chaired the Ministerial Review Committee into Transformation in Higher Education last year, has been appointed to the post of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town, with responsibility for the cluster of activities related to supporting UCT's transformation strategy.


New UCT recycling campaign focuses on e-Waste
09 April
The University of Cape Town will launch a project on Friday, 9 April 2010, at 10:00 to responsibly dispose of e-Waste: redundant electronic equipment that is often made up of hazardous materials that require special disposal techniques.

First quarter


Award recipient focuses on mental health in disadvantaged communities
31 March
In recognition of his contribution to welfare-related research, Professor Dan Stein, head of UCT's Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, was awarded the prestigious Alan Pifer Research Award on 24 March 2010. The annual award honours UCT researchers whose welfare-related work has contributed to the advancement and welfare of South Africa's disadvantaged people.


UCT student council uses apartheid strategy to pull students together
24 March
Students and staff at the University of Cape Town were shocked in February 2010 when they found stickers declaring certain parts of the campus "Whites Only" "Asians Only" and "Blacks Only". The apartheid-style stickers were pasted on places like benches, banking ATMs, and entrances to lecture theatres and libraries. If outraged students tore them down, they later found them replaced, sometimes on the same day.


Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi to deliver Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture
19 March
Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will speak on Voyage of Dialogue and Discovery: Peace and Security in the 21st Century, at the VC's Open Lecture on 23 March 2010.


Tiffin brings new rhythm to UCT jazz vocals programme
17 March
As a young child, jazz sensation Amanda Tiffin used to take the part of "teacher" when playing with her siblings, so her appointment as the new head of jazz vocals at UCT's South African College of Music (SACM) has brought her full circle.


New wiki welcomes fynbos fans and fundis
10 March
The University of Cape Town has joined forces with the University of Regensburg in Germany to start a FynbosWiki that makes information on fynbos and fynbos ecology easily accessible online. Researchers from the 2 institutions are using the site to collate and exchange knowledge of the fynbos biome and beyond, and to share this information with others.


UCT signs first Lusophone partnership with another African university
09 March
The University of Cape Town today signed its first partnership agreement with a university in a Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) African nation. UCT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Max Price and Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) Rector, Prof Doutor Filipe José Couto signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) committing the 2 universities to cooperate and collaborate in teaching, research and other areas across the faculties of the 2 universities.


Speech by VC Max Price: Giddy Memorial Service and Protest March
22 February
Friends, why are we gathering today? Why are we gathering yet again? What good is the march, what good will a protest do? We are gathered once again, firstly to mourn collectively. In the last week I spoken to the Giddy family, friends of Dominic, and I have read the UCT Monday Paper, as you must have done, and seen the many touching messages that have been written. It made me feel horrible and sad that I was robbed of the chance to know this gentle, loving and fair person. We were all robbed of the gifts he would have brought to our society.


UCT launches OpenContent Directory
12 February
The University of Cape Town's OpenContent Directory is scheduled to go live at 15h00 on Friday, 12 February 2010. The OpenContent Directory will allow easy, free, online access to a selection of UCT's teaching and learning resources, as a first step towards developing OpenUCT - a far-reaching initiative that will eventually make a range of UCT's knowledge resources - including research - available to anyone with Internet access.


GIPCA's February Festival celebrates collaboration
08 February
The February Festival, hosted by UCT's Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), will incorporate performances, exhibitions and open rehearsals by GIPCA's participating departments, Fellows and Creative Arts Awardees. The festival offers the public, artists and academics the opportunity to experience and interact with an electric mix of arts and interdisciplinary collaborations.


'Sax Offenders' aim to raise R700 000 for UCT community projects
01 February
"We won't be holding back," promises the team of students who have put together this year's edition of the University of Cape Town's RAG magazine, SAX Appeal 2010. The widespread publicity surrounding last year's edition has encouraged them to be ever more cheeky in promoting SAX Appeal 2010 and the good causes that will be supported through the sale of the magazine on 4 February.


UCT Summer School celebrates 60 years with a flock of Bits, Bites and Tweets
15 January
The University of Cape Town is celebrating 60 years of Summer School with 2 receptions, 2 free lectures and a dynamic artwork celebrating evolution, digital citizenship and finches.