The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Buti Manamela, visited the University of Cape Town (UCT) to see the aftermath of the Cape Town fire which damaged and destroyed various University buildings.
Manamela expressed his relief that none of the students or staff lost their lives and they'll now be seeing how the University will work towards re-imagining the new structure.
The Deputy Minister said:
We are committed, through the leadership of our Minister, to make sure that we help the University to get back on it's feet and to resume with its academic programmes.
Manamela, along with other stakeholders, went on a tour of the damaged buildings which included the Jagger Reading Room, the HW Pearson Building, the Smuts Hall student residence, Cadboll House and La Grotta.
The Department, along with the University, will work towards fixing the buildings that were ravaged by the fire and how they'll be re-imagining some of those buildings moving into the future, "to infuse modality but connecting that with the history of our country and the history of the university".
Much as this is tragic, we are quite happy to see that the University leadership has dedicated itself towards restoring learning and teaching in spite of the damage the fire has caused.
Fortunately, about 20 000 pages of manuscripts from the 1870s, which recorded accounts of the indigenous people of the Cape, were saved from the fire thanks to the library’s fire-protection infrastructure.
A statement released by UCT read, "The documents sustained some water damage and will need to be restored."
4000 students were evacuated from the campus and have since returned.
The academic programme also resumed this week.
— HigherEduTrainingZA (@HigherEduGovZA) April 24, 2021