thinking beyond

Communiqué to CUT community: Follow-up - Measures implemented related to the 21-day lockdown

Dear CUT Community

My communiqué of 19 March 2020 has reference. As you are aware, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus).

The previous communication that “all post-school institutions will reopen after the Easter weekend, on 15 April 2020”, has been withdrawn. In line with USAf (Universities South Africa)’s decision that we use Monday 20 April 2020 as a planning horizon, the university will reopen, and all academic activities and lectures will commence on 20 April 2020. Students will be allowed to access residences from 18 April 2020. Should this change at any stage, you will be notified immediately. Depending on the circumstances, academic activities will either be online or face to face.

Management has identified the essential services required at the university during this lockdown period. CUT essential services include ICT, Communications and Marketing, Finances, Payroll, Health and Medical Research Centres, critical maintenance, including refuse and waste removals, and Protection Services. 

Relevant staff have been provided with an Essential Services Permit in terms of Regulation 11B(3), and personal protective equipment related to the pandemic.
Furthermore, ten (10) local service providers were appointed, and buildings at both the Bloemfontein and Welkom campuses have been cleaned and disinfected. This was done as an important preventative measure to ensure that our staff and students will access clean and hygienic facilities, in an effort to address the national call and flatten the infection curve.

  • The following measures will apply during the 21-day lockdown period:
    The online academic activities for all students have been suspended from 27 March 2020 until 17 April 2020.
  • In accordance with the national lockdown, students and staff may not access the campuses. Access to CUT campuses is limited to staff in possession of a valid Essential Services Permit as signed by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Permit holders must always have the permit and an official form of identification in their possession.
  • HR will process special leave for all staff during the lockdown period. During this period, staff members should please continue with their preparations to enhance our readiness for on-line offerings.
  • It is anticipated that the July recess will be affected by the national lockdown, extending the academic programme into December 2020. Accordingly, staff and students must please make alternative leave and vacation arrangements in advance. The Registrar will provide further details to students at a later stage. Formal engagement with organised labour will take place to determine revised work arrangements and related matters.

The CUT community commends the government for the measures put in place to reduce the rate of infection. As a community, we are committed to work together in solidarity and unity to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve. Like other universities, CUT collaborates with local, provincial and national government and with other social and civil society actors to determine how best to engage the pandemic. In this regard, the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM), the Product Development Technology Station (PDTS), and the Centre on Quality of Health and Living (CQHL) at CUT, are currently involved in different COVID-associated challenges.

Given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 situation, regular communication updates will be provided. Ongoing enhancement of the university’s Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is an integral part of developing new strategies to minimise and/or eliminate the risks facing the successful completion of the 2020 academic year. In that regard, CUT aligns itself with the DHET and USAf stance to complete the 2020 academic year.

We encourage staff and students to practice social distancing and other necessary precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus. In addition, please consult the CUT Information Hub on Coronavirus: Furthermore, please familiarise yourself with the Amendment of Regulations issued in Terms of Section 27 (2).

It is acknowledged that the lockdown could cause undue stress and frustration. However, we remain confident that all measures put in place will help to reduce the COVID-19 risk. Since the well-being of our staff and students is our highest priority, you are reminded of the availability of CareWays’ services (contact them at toll free number 0800 0004 007).

May you all be blessed! E se e ka Ramasedi a ka le hlohonolofatsa! Mag julle almal geseënd wees!

Prof. Henk de Jager
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Download the VC communique, English 26 March 2020 (PDF)

Download the VC communique, Sesotho 27 March 2020 (PDF)

Download the VC communique, Afrikaans 27 March 2020 (PDF)

Download the Amendment of Regulations issued in Terms of Section 27 (2) (PDF)

Uploaded: 26 March 2020
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