[14 March] VC's Circular - Cancellation or postponement of events at Rhodes University

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Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela
Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela

Dear Rhodes University community

Taking into consideration the national and global situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the need for all of us to take all necessary precautionary measures to reduce the potential risk of exposure to the virus, the University Executive Leadership has had to take important decisions regarding events on campus that may involve significant numbers of people from outside Makhanda/Grahamstown.

With immediate effect, all events which will involve significant numbers of people from outside of Makhanda/Grahamstown and its immediate surrounds, which were to have taken place on the Rhodes University campus between now and 30 June 2020, are either cancelled, postponed, or converted to an online event.  This is being done in line with national and international steps to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.  Where the organisers of events are unsure of whether they should proceed, they may contact the Coronavirus Response Task Team (CVRTT) through the contact address advertised on the web site https://www.ru.ac.za/cvrtt/

The Graduation Ceremonies which had been scheduled for the period 2 – 4 April 2020 have been postponed until further notice. While these celebrations of graduation are hugely important to the life of the university and its students and their families, it is more important at this time to take responsible decisions that will prevent the spread of the disease.  This decision will not prejudice those who need their graduate status formally confirmed to pursue their further studies or career.  More details of the postponement of graduation ceremonies will be made available to graduating students in the coming days.

Normal academic activities and events which do not involve significant numbers of outside visitors to the campus will continue, and we appeal to all to observe the heightened hygiene recommendations as they go about their work and studies.

The situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is being constantly monitored, and travel and gathering advisories will be adjusted as conditions change and in line with advice from our national government and/or the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). 

We call upon all members of the university community and the greater Makhanda/Grahamstown community to show empathy and kindheartedness towards each other and others, as we together ensure the safety and well-being of all during this challenging time.

If we work together, we will be able to beat the coronavirus (COVID-19).


Sizwe Mabizela

Vice-Chancellor, Rhodes University