UCT African Studies Library Up in Flames Amid Cape Town Fires

Written by on 19 April, 2021

By: Mfundo Mabaso

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has put emergency measures in place in order to respond to the fire on the Rondebosch campus on Sunday.

This follows an inferno that is wreaking havoc in and around the city of Cape Town which has affected the UCT and forced evacuations in most areas.

The flames have destroyed the some of the UCT buildings including the Jagger library, in building that was constructed in the 1930s, and served originally as the main library, then as a short loans centre, and most recently, from 2000 to 2011 as the reading room of the African Studies Library.

The University says at this stage they can confirm the Reading Room is completely gutted and some of the valuable collections have been lost, however a full assessment will only be done once the building has been declared safe to enter.

University Vice Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, says they will assess the situation and provide further updates before midday on Tuesday.

“We are all anxious about the extent of the damage to the Rondebosch campus. We will provide updates as soon as we are able to do so,” says Phakeng.

The university has been arranging emergency accommodation for students evacuated from residences and has also suspended academic activities.

“The safety of students and staff is paramount. For safety reasons, campus will be locked down and no one, other than emergency services, will be allowed access. Food and emergency accommodation have been arranged for all the students who had to be evacuated on Sunday,” explains the VC.


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