Change the world


The number of confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in South Africa has increased from 24 to 62, pointing to the rapid spread of the virus in parts of the country where there have been confirmed cases.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Cape, where six of our campuses are situated, while the Western Cape, where the George Campus is situated, has 16 confirmed cases.

The virus, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last week, has spread to various parts of the world, with governments working to actively contain the spread of the virus.

Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared COVID-19 a national disaster, and announced government’s urgent measures towards curbing the spread of the virus. These include a ban on international travel, limitations on domestic travel, advice against gatherings of more than 100 people and controls on entry points.

This morning, Mandela University senior management met to finalise the institution’s plans, which have been under consideration and take into account the various scenarios.

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our top priority. As such, since the outbreak was announced, we launched an awareness campaign, sharing reliable information about how the virus is spread and tips on how best to protect ourselves and minimise the risks of spreading the virus through posters and internal and online platforms.

Following the developments in the aggressive nature of the virus and its spread as well as the President’s address to the nation on 15 March 2020, Nelson Mandela University has taken the following decisions:

Academic activities:

  • Suspend all academic activities, including classes, research, assessments and work integrated learning (WIL) immediately
  • Following the end of recess, online or virtual learning, and other alternative platforms will be used until after the Easter weekend on 14 April

Events and public gatherings:

  • Cancel all events, conferences and public gatherings on campuses
  • Autumn graduation will be postponed until further notice. The Registrar’s office will be in contact with graduands in this regard

International and domestic travel:

  • International travel is prohibited, until further notice from University Management, and we advise against domestic or local travel, unless the latter is absolutely necessary.
  • International visitors will not be allowed on campus, until further notice
  • All staff and students who have returned from international travel in the last 14 days are required to self-quarantine, if they have not already done so

The University is closely monitoring global and national developments around COVID-19 and, should the situation change, the institution will adjust its plans accordingly and issue updated communication.

While academic activities have been suspended, University operations continue, unless circumstances change. Staff are expected to continue working to ensure no disruption to University operations.


In this highly volatile time, regular updates on our response to this challenge will be communicated to the University community using the official institutional platforms, as well as the dedicated website.

We call on everyone to remain calm and practice the necessary precautionary measures, as have been shared via the numerous memoranda.

Professor Sibongile Muthwa

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777