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In preparation for the gradual return to campus, a lot of work has gone towards ensuring that staff and students come back to a safe and COVID-19 compliant environment on campus.

This has seen the University put in place several measures in this regard, in line with the national guidelines. These include health screening, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene and sanitisation mechanisms across campuses, efforts to ensure the requisite physical distancing  in work and study spaces is maintained, boosting of online systems, as well as awareness and educational campaigns aimed at ensuring adherence to these measures in the continued bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

As we settle into Level 2, it is important to remember that despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, COVID-19 is still with us. This necessitates cautious vigilance and adherence to the rules and regulations in place, which are aimed towards ensuring continued safety and prevention of infection.


About 15 000 students have to date been notified of their return to campus, inclusive of Levels 3 and 2, with about 72% of those having signed and accepted the conditions to return to campus. A total of 6 872 of those notified to return are students staying in the University’s on-campus and accredited off-campus residences, with 3 448 presently in residences.

Of those presently at residences, 1 171 are in on-campus accommodation and 2 247 at accredited off-campus accommodation.

Upon return, students are bound by a set of rules and regulations, as contained in the standard operating procedures (SOPs). These remain in place, even with the easing of national lockdown restrictions. Students are reminded that they have signed and agreed to adhere to these rules when returning to campus.

Student COVID-19 cases

To date, a total of 31 students have been affected by COVID-19, with 10 of those from the cohort that had already returned to campus. Thankfully, all 10 cases have since been cleared and there are presently no active cases on campus.

The University remains committed to containing these numbers and calls on all students to exercise cautious vigilance and understand that “It is in your Hands” to prevent a possible second wave of the coronavirus.


Despite all the health and safety measures in place, and agreement on the rules and regulations, the last few months have not been without challenges – in particular at the University’s on-campus and accredited off-campus residences.

The move to Level 2, which saw the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products, has seen challenges with regards to enforcing the set rules and regulations to which students agreed.

Of concern is a notable trend among students, particularly at residences, where rules are being flouted, putting the health and safety of all residence staff and students at risk.  Students are reminded that rules relating to gatherings, curfews, visitations and use of alcohol remain in place.

According to the approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the following rules are still in place and should be adhered to at all times:

  • No visitors are allowed at residences
  • The use of alcohol or other substances is prohibited
  • Strictly no gatherings

Consequence management

Students are reminded of the consequences of contravening the COVID-19 rules, which they have accepted and signed. The University does not tolerate any deviations from the rules and action has been, and will continue being taken against those who show disregard for the rules – which are in place to protect all on campus.

In the last few months, Student Housing has dealt with 53 disciplinary cases, of which 50 have since been concluded and the remainder still pending.

Some of those found guilty of contravening COVID-19 rules and regulations received sanctions ranging from fines, suspension or expulsion from all Mandela University affiliated residences as well as having their academic records not endorsed.


Efforts to ensure adherence to the rules and regulations will continue, but equal responsibility rests with staff, students, and all within the institutional community to play their part in preventing the spread of the virus.

The University has put in place the requisite measures and systems, and for these to be effective, we need to remain committed to working together to fight this pandemic. We will continue working with all relevant stakeholders, including the Mandela Student Brigade, in driving this message.

We thank staff and students for their collective efforts and contributions thus far, which have helped contain the impact of the virus on campus.

You are called upon to show care for your individual health and that of your friends, peers and colleagues by being responsible.

Wear your masks. Wash and sanitise your hands. Maintain physical distance. Live a healthy lifestyle.

It is in your hands.

Student Life and Development

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777