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Covid-19 Update 73: Return to campus plans

- Senior Executive Team

Details on vaccination and the return of staff members to campus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday evening that South Africa has moved to Adjusted Alert Level 2, thereby easing several regulations, which impacts on members of the Wits community, as detailed below.

At the outset, the Senior Executive Team (SET) strongly recommends that all staff members get vaccinated as soon as possible – it is our collective responsibility, and it is in the best interests of our community and society. It is also our best chance at minimising the impact of another resurgence of the virus, and getting back to normal as soon as possible. For these reasons we are working on a vaccination policy, which will be circulated in the coming days.

The Wits Netcare Vaccination Site has been established in the Multipurpose Hall on the Braamfontein Campus to vaccinate the broader Wits community (including family members and friends). The site is open Mon-Fri from 08:00 – 16:00 until 23 September 2021. Walk-ins are welcome, and everyone above 18 years of age can be vaccinated.

Staff and students can also vaccinate at any convenient site, including the Liberty Vaccination Site in Braamfontein and the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Parktown.

Academic Staff

The teaching and learning programme will continue as per the respective faculty timetables, and in the modes determined and specified by faculties. Academics and researchers are required to be accessible for academic and research purposes, and for postgraduate supervision. 

All staff, postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows can continue with research on campus, and must adhere to all Wits’ COVID-19 protocols when on campus. The same applies to students serving on clinical training platforms, students attending in-person lessons, and those requiring access to studios and laboratories, as determined at the faculty level. Libraries will open in line with regulations issued by government.

Professional and Administrative Staff

All University entities are required to be fully operational as we strive to fulfil our mandate to deliver academic, research and service excellence in the 2021 academic year.

Professional and administrative staff are accordingly required to report for duty on campus, in line with the directives of their respective senior executive member, who is authorised to determine and approve the level of staff required in their faculty or division. Line managers and Heads of School are also required to act in accordance with the directives of their respective faculty dean or senior executive member.

Workplace Safety

The health and safety of every member of the Wits community is paramount, and again, it will require our collective effort to keep everyone safe.

Staff members are required to:

  • Complete the self-screening form via the Wits LogBox Screening App every day before entering campus;
  • Wear a mask over the mouth and nose, and especially when in close proximity to others;
  • Refrain from gathering in spaces that are not adequately ventilated and to rather hold meetings outdoors (no gatherings are allowed in tearooms and canteens); and
  • Abide by all Wits’ COVID-19 policies and protocols.

Responsibilities for Line Managers

  • Line managers must update the Occupational Health and Safety risk assessment for their respective entity and must implement the risk mitigation measures before staff members return to the workplace.
  • Line managers must work with their assigned human resources officers, health and safety officers and representatives, PIMD, Services, and other relevant entities, to ensure the safety of staff members, and especially that the following measures are in place:
    • the physical distancing of staff members in the workplace;
    • the regular cleaning of venues and work spaces;
    • the provision of personal protective equipment for specialised areas (and ensuring that it is correctly worn); and
    • the adherence to Wits’ COVID-19 protocols to prevent the spread of infection.


Let us take the necessary precautions to ensure our own personal health and safety and that of our colleagues, students and friends, as we return to campus. We strongly advise that the most sustainable manner by which to protect yourself and reduce your chances of infecting others is to be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

Please speak to your line manager or relevant executive should you have any further queries about the return to campus plans.