Public universities spring into action towards containment of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Since vice-chancellors received a joint briefing on the COVID-19 virus from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on 19 February, many have sprung into action gearing up their institutions for a concerted response when the epidemic arrives on their campuses.  With the number of confirmed cases rising by the day in South Africa, and the virus confirmed to have spread to 80 countries and territories as at 6 March, 2020 (WHO – World Health Organisation website) the virus arrival at university campuses is inevitable. It is now a matter of when.

On this page USAf shares the messages that member universities are circulating amongst their campus communities.  Many of these messages guide staff and students towards practices they can adopt to be SAFE, SMART and KIND (according to the WHO) in fighting the virus.  Others inform of containment plans put in place against COVID-19. 

Recognising that some institutions are ahead of others in their interventions and in disseminating preventive messaging, this portal is USAf’s attempt to share. Hopefully, institutions that are still lagging behind will draw inspiration from those who have surged ahead in this regard. We also share on this page, useful and reliable other information tools as sourced from the NICD, the WHO and the Government Communications and Information Service (GCIS) for our member institutions.

Central University of Technology (CUT)


Durban University of Technology (DUT)

COVID-19; Frequently asked Questions, and Answers


Rhodes University


Stellenbosch University

SU researchers turn bread into sanitiser

Stellenbosch University’s message on COVID-19

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, shares SU’s business continuity plan – 26 March 2020


University of Cape Town’s communication updates

University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)UKZN offers digital teaching skills:


University of Pretoria’s Vice-Chancellor message to the UP community

University of South Africa (UNISA)


University of the Western Cape (UWC)


University of the Witwatersrand (WITS)

COVID-19 South Africa Dashboard


University of the Free State (UFS): Vice-Chancellor’s video message on the UFS plan of action


Additional links:

Australian doctors have shared a useful guide

National Institute of Communicable Diseases site