In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, 27 June, President Ramaphosa announced that in light of the third wave of the pandemic, the country would be moving to adjusted Alert Level 4 as of Monday, 28 June 2021. “Our priority is to break the chain of transmission by reducing person-to-person contact and thereby help to flatten the curve,” Ramaphosa said.
As of Monday, 28 June 2021, the following measures apply:
- With some specific exceptions, all gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors, are prohibited.
- A curfew will be in place from 21h00 to 04h00.
- The use, sale and transportation of alcohol is prohibited (its use on campus is already prohibited).
- Although there is limited travel in and out of Gauteng, those not in their place of residence will be allowed to return home to or from Gauteng.
- Contact classes at tertiary institutions will end by Wednesday, 30 June, with limited access by students to the institutions thereafter.
In order to respond to the adjusted lockdown level, Rhodes University has put the following arrangements in place:
- All online exams will continue as planned.
- In respect of sit-down exams in certain Faculties:
o Commerce: All PGDip(Accounting) exams will be moved online.
o Humanities: Extended Studies Computer Literacy exams will be postponed to a future date.
o Pharmacy: The Faculty has sit-down exams planned until Wednesday, 30 June. These will continue as scheduled.
o Science: Sit-down exams will take place up to and including Wednesday, 30 June. All other sit-down exams from Thursday, 1 July onwards are to be deferred to September.
- In respect of other Faculties:
o Education: All exams have already been deferred to the end of the year.
o Law: All exams will continue online as planned.
All library services will continue. The operation hours will be adjusted in line with the curfew times.
Computer laboratories will remain open with strict adherence to University COVID-19 protocols.
It is expected that students who would have written sit-down exams that have been moved online would either be on campus or in Makhanda. These students will continue to have admission to campus to access the necessary resources such as computer labs and WiFi.
Students are also reminded that learning resources hosted on the university campus are zero-rated by the major South African mobile network operators and can be accessed for free.
Staff and students on campus
Course-based students must vacate their residences as soon as they have completed their exams. Those who, for whatever reason, are not able to leave campus will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
The University will remain functional to support students whose studies do not permit them to leave for the winter vacation, for research activities, and the normal business operations of a university. In line with Alert Level 4 lockdown regulations and the University’s COVID-19 Protocols, staff who can work productively remotely may engage with their managers about this mode of working. The HR Division will release more details about staff working arrangements.
Research laboratories will continue to operate, taking into account remote working where possible, and heightened observance of health and safety protocols for those required to be in physical laboratories and other physical workspaces.
Due to the restrictions on eating spaces, only takeout meals are allowed. Details of how this will work will be communicated through the wardening system.
We are all responsible not just for our own health, but for the health of those around us. Staff and students are urged to be considerate and supportive of each other and maintain all safety protocols.
Further updates will be shared as they become available.
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