Suspension of all Student Activities due to an increase in Covid-19 Infections


In recent weeks, Nelson Mandela Metro has experienced a rather sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, with the recorded positive cases doubling weekly. The Metro is also leading in the Eastern Cape both in terms of the daily number of infections and the number of active positive cases.


This negative development has not and will not exclude the University, particularly its residences as they are highly concentrated spaces for human occupancy. As such, a similar trend has been observed in our residences.  It is a known fact that the virus is transmitted by human beings through their various forms of interactions.

In terms of our observations, the following, among others, are the key drivers of the resurgence of the pandemic:

  • Medium to large face-to-face meetings
  • Parties within the residence rooms as well as large parties outside student residences
  • Night clubs
  • Sporadic protests, marches, pickets
  • Flagrant violation of containment measures e.g. physical distancing, wearing of masks,  washing of hands / use of sanitiser
  • General relaxation around enforcement in public spaces.

Emergency Protocols

The destructively developing situation requires urgent and decisive interventions.

  1. We are committed to the twin objectives of #SaveLives and #SavetheAcademicYear.
  2. We have allowed students to return to our campuses and residences in order to support them to finish the Academic Year safely.
  3. As part of our commitment to saving lives, the following measures will apply immediately as a mechanism to arrest infections in our residences:
    1. No face-to-face student gatherings will be allowed, inclusive of room parties, sporadic protests, pickets, marches and mass meetings.
    2. Targeted mass screening and testing will be rolled out using a risk based approach.
    3. Residences with characteristics of cluster outbreaks will be immediately placed on quarantine, in line with Higher Health guidelines.
    4. Enforcement of residence protocols, including curfew will be reinforced by Protection Services.
    5. All off-campus accommodation providers have been directed to strictly apply the protocols, including these emergency measures.
    6. House Committees will be at the centre of monitoring compliance and encouraging the modification of behaviour by students. 
    7. Adherence to the main COVID-19 preventative measures like the wearing of masks, social/physical distancing, washing of hands/use of sanitiser - remain non-negotiable.

These measures are taken in the interest of the twin objectives outlined above.  We remain committed to our two-pronged strategy of fighting the pandemic, which is education and conscientisation, in partnership with student leadership and Protection Services. This is part of ongoing efforts towards the collective safety of all within the University. Our individual safety as well as that of those around us is of utmost importance, and is our responsibility.

#Save Lives # Save the Academic Year

Mr Luthando Jack
Dean of Students