The Vice-Chancellor has committed 20% of her salary for a period of 3 months, towards the COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund. Our Chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, has also led by example when she announced late last month a R5 million donation by the Motsepe Foundation to help the university manage its multi-faceted response to the pandemic. We wish to acknowledge the following donors: the Motsepe Foundation (R5 million); UCT alumni and staff members; Mr. Daniel Maseko (R100 000); The Stella and Paul Loewenstein Trust (R50 000); African Bank (R100 000); Mr. Trevor Norwitz (R100 000); the Harry Crossley Foundation (R185 000); Community Chest (R100 000) and Willis Towers Watson (R600 000); Shoprite Checkers (Pty)Ltd (R50 000); Code Synthesis Tools CC (R10 000); Stanlib (R250 000); Standard Bank (R250 000); Professor Klaus-Jurgen Bathe (R125 000).

The fund demonstrates solidarity and a strong commitment to supporting the most vulnerable members of the UCT community. Pledge your support  to the COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund today.

UCT Vice-Chancellor's appeal to alumni (March 2020)

Dear alumni and friends of the University of Cape Town,

I write to you during extraordinary times at the University of Cape Town, in our country and the world at large. Having reached our shores, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is now a devastating reality. This pandemic is challenging us to reimagine how we live and work and, to respond with agility in a rapidly changing world.

Earlier in March, the University of Cape Town's executive together with the Leadership Lekgotla announced the decision to suspend all academic classes, to defer all UCT-related events and conferences until the end of June 2020 as well as to close our facilities, including student residences. This decision was made to slow the spread and impact of a deadly virus as well as to safeguard (as far we can) the health of the more than 30,000 staff and students who are on-site at any given time.

The closure of our residences means that many students now find themselves stranded, unable to return to home for financial reasons. This is a particularly stressful time for those UCT students who reside outside of South Africa. They require special funding arrangements to make travel to their home countries possible. As a university, we are doing all that we can to support these and many other students in a time of crisis and I am happy to report that we have already established an emergency fund for this purpose. However, we do need your help.

You form part of the largest and most important constituency in our University: our alumni. Your support matters. Your networks matter. Since news of the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa, many UCT alumni have reached out to me as well as to members of the UCT executive to ask how they can assist us during this difficult time. I understand that there will be many new demands on you by immediate family and surrounding communities. But this is how you can also make a difference to UCT. Your contribution to our newly established COVID-19 UCT student Emergency Fund will directly assist those students who face financial difficulties. You may choose to pledge your support individually or, via your UCT alumni chapter or affinity grouping. The choice is yours. Your donation big or small, will help our students return home safely to their families where they belong.

Notwithstanding the difficult times ahead for all of us (personally and collectively), I do believe that if we support each other, we will have a much better chance of overcoming the many challenges that COVID-19 is yet to present to us. COVID-19 UCT student Emergency Fund donations can be made to the following account:

Bank name: Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
Account name: UCT Donations Account
Branch name: Rondebosch
Branch code: 025009
Branch address: Belmont Road Rondebosch 7700 Cape Town South Africa
Account number: 071522387
Type of account: Current
Swift address: SBZAZAJJ

NB: Please use COVID-19, Initials and Surname as your reference when making your donation and please send proof of payment to

Finally, I want to thank you for thinking of UCT during this challenging time. Thank you for supporting your alma mater, for lending your voice as well as your considerable influence, whenever we have asked. This is the true meaning of 'Ubuntu', or community. Together, we can.

Yours Sincerely,
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Vice-Chancellor: University of Cape Town

International donations:

If you live outside of South Africa and would like to make a donation, you can do so in the following countries: Canada, USA, UK, and Australia. All donations to UCT are tax-deductable.