The University of Cape Town, UCT, was caught in the Table Mountain fire and as a result, University buildings have been lost and damaged.
UCT's Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, has given some insight into how else the Cape Town fire impacted the University.
The VC said:
These kind of challenges bring the best out of us.
The University will start assessing the extent of the damage and have been in contact with insurers. The Premier will be present.
Students' belongings which were lost in the fire will be covered by insurance.
Phakeng said the biggest concern at the moment is the Special Collections Library which was hit by the fire. The fire only spread to this section and not only the library.
The Collection had about 3500 African collections.
Certain things you cannot replace. In the Special Collections, it's not that easy.
Research students might be affected by this and will be disadvantaged for a while, the Vice-Chancellor said.
They will also be looking at how ready UCT will be for staff and students to come back.
"The safety of our students and staff is paramount so we'll be assessing that today and tomorrow so we'll keep releasing communiques to our students and staff," said the Vice-Chancellor.
As devastating as it is, I'm amazed at how the team rose to the challenge and what we managed to do just yesterday because the fire didn't start on our campus, it started outside and it got to campus unexpectedly.
The University's Student Representative Council (SRC) gave the following updates for evacuated students:
- The SRC is working with management on the procurement of breakfast and food for students in hotels. Updates will follow throughout the day.
- Students in hotels will be informed regarding check out date. Prior to this, students are permitted to stay in hotels and accommodation provided by UCT. The SRC will communicate further on this.
UCT will announce what will happen to the academic programme at 12PM on Tuesday.
Gift of the Givers has stepped in and provided 4000 meals to students who were affected by the fire.
KFC, Den Anker, McDonald's and other companies have also assisted with providing meals to students along with Mowbray Mosque.
Uber and Bolt has also granted discounts to students who had to evacuate.