Covid-19 Update 68: Implications of level 4 regulations on Witsies
What the new regulations mean for Wits staff and students.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last night that South Africa has moved to Lockdown Level 4, due to the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus spreading quickly across the country, particularly in Gauteng. In his speech, he indicated that new curfews are in place (9pm to 4am), that there are further restrictions on movement, both within and beyond the province, and that there are implications for students and employees, amongst other matters.
The regulations have been released and the implications for Wits students and employees are detailed below.
Teaching and learning (Undergraduates)
All faculties have completed teaching and learning for the second term, and the University is now in the assessment period until the 9th of July 2021.
The vacation period commences from the 10th of July until the 1st of August 2021 and the third term begins on the 2nd of August 2021.
The implications for the teaching and learning programme, and assessments in particular, at the undergraduate level are as follows:
- All online assessments will continue as scheduled.
- All in-person examinations will either transition to online or will be postponed to August 2021, as communicated by faculties.
- Faculties may be allowed to adjust the teaching and learning timetable to ensure that the 2021 academic programme is optimised, that valuable learning time is not lost, and that we endeavour to complete the 2021 academic year timeously.
Students living in Wits residences
We are waiting for the announcement from the Minister of Higher Education and Training in respect of the impact of the amended lockdown status on university residences. In the meantime, the normal mid-year policies and processes for residences will apply. The rules for those living in residences are also being amended in line with the lockdown level 4 status of the country. Students who may have specific concerns are encouraged to contact their cluster managers or the Director of Campus Housing and Residence Life.
Students who require permits to travel home and to return before the third term commences, can request permits from their respective faculties.
Researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and postgraduate students
Postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers can continue with research, if they adhere to all Wits’ COVID-19 protocols. Postgraduate students with 12-month residence agreements are allowed to remain in residences. The same applies to students serving on our various clinical training platforms. Libraries will closed as we have to abide by the regulations issued by government in this regard.
Senior Executives will work with their respective Heads of School and Department Managers to determine the level of staffing required on campus to ensure that the University remains operational while the risk of infection in the workplace is minimised. Managers need to ensure that all relevant COVID-19 health and safety protocols are implemented in the workplace.
Where feasible, staff members may work from home, with the permission of their line managers, and with the approval of the relevant Senior Executive.
All meetings will take place online, as far as possible.
We are doing our best to ensure that everyone remains safe, whilst the University remains operational. We thank you for your resilience during this difficult period and urge you to abide by all COVID-19 protocols.