UCT plans to resume academic year on Monday

The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)
The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

Cape Town – The University of Cape Town is pressing on with efforts to complete the academic year amid unrest on campuses.

In a letter on Friday night, Vice Chancellor Max Price said the UCT council agreed to resume activities next week while also mandating the executive to continue engaging protesting students.

"Teaching and learning will resume through a variety of approaches, included blended learning," he said.

Faculties and departments would brief their students shortly.

UCT libraries and computer labs would be open.

The Jammie bus shuttle would also be operating.

Price said they planned to end the academic programme on 2 November, with exams starting on 7 November.

"The intention is to find a solution that will allow classroom-based activities to be reinstated and to minimise the need for extensive security," he said.

"I call on all students and staff to support the plan to resume academic activities."

On Friday nationwide protests in demand of free and decolonised education took a sinister turn when Price was allegedly punched twice in the course of a conversation with students on the campus.

Police fired stun grenades and students left but later disrupted a soccer match on campus. 

A fire also destroyed a double cab bakkie used by students and researchers in the Geological Sciences Department.

Spokesperson Pat Lucas said the vehicle was set alight just after 03:00 on Friday morning. Campus security extinguished it before it could spread to other vehicles or buildings.

UCT was assessing smoke damage to a ventilation system that serves the department’s laboratory and which houses highly sensitive equipment, worth millions of rand, Lucas said.

A case of arson was opened.

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