UCT suspends academic programme for rest of the week due to Cape Town fire damage

UCT suspends academic programme for rest of the week due to Cape Town fire damage


Cape Town – While UCT initially suspended the academic programme for two days due to the fire and evacuation of staff and students on Sunday, it has now been suspended for the rest of the week.

The University of Cape Town’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said that following the assessment of the damages to upper campus, and the need to clean residences and academic buildings it means that the academic programme will be suspended until Friday, 23 April.

“The academic programme will resume on Monday, 26 April. The faculties will each manage the lost week in terms of the curriculum and will communicate with their students about scheduled tests and assignments,” she said.

During a visit to the upper campus on Monday, Phakeng said that they weren’t able to calculate the cost of damage yet “because we haven’t done the assessment”.

She said they have about five buildings have been damaged:

  • The Person building – where there is a water leak,
  • Two student residences – Fuller and Smuts Hall
  • Jagger Library
  • One of the admin blocks

“We will assess the cost of the damage because we are working with insurers, so that we can go (forward) from there.”

After announcing late on Sunday, that they were organising emergency accommodation for the evacuated students, the university was able to house them in hotels across the city.

Phakeng said that students would start returning to their residences from tomorrow onwards.

“On Wednesday the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) will start managing the movement of students back to their residences from their emergency accommodation.”

After being criticised on social media about why are hotels “safer” than using staff members’ spare rooms, Phakeng answered: “Finding accommodation for 4 000 scared students in a matter of a few hours was not easy at all.

“So glad that the DSA team got it done so quickly. Our insurers will cover a lot of it. Thanks for your willingness to assist.”

UCT called for donations to the emergency relief fund that has been set up. The details are:

Account name: UCT Donations Account

Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa

Branch code: Rondebosch Branch, 025009

Account number: 07 152 2387

Swift code: SBZAZAJJ

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