Vice-Chancellor Message – 28 January 2022

Date: Jan 28, 2022 | News, Vice-Chancellor Messages


Vc Banner28 January 2022

Dear UJ Community,

This week, as I took one of my regular campus walkabouts, I could hear the chatter and laughter permeating the air. It was a reminder that we are indeed a closely-knit community, united in our love, care and support for each other. I am pleased that registrations for first-year and returning students are proceeding smoothly. As many of our prospective and registered students can attest, our Chatbot, MoUJi (UJ’s digital assistant) and Call Centre are efficient platforms for information. I have no doubt that we will reach our enrolment targets for the 2022 Academic Year.   

Similarly, I am pleased with the response to our Mandatory Vaccination Policy, which the UJ Council adopted  last year. Many of our employees and students have taken the opportunity to upload their vaccination certificates. I am confident that we will soon be able to resume contact face-to-face delivery of the academic programme to ensure optimal access to learning, research, laboratory, clinical workspaces within a safe environment.    

In this regard, I would like to reiterate that our employees need to be at least partially vaccinated (in the instances of the Pfizer first dose vaccine) and to have uploaded their vaccination certificates by this coming week on Tuesday, 1 February 2022, and to be fully vaccinated by 15 March 2022. In the same vein, students are to be at least partially vaccinated and to have uploaded their vaccination certificates by 14 February 2022 and to fully vaccinated by 31 March 2022. For information on the relevant links, the uploading of vaccination certificates and application for exemption, visit our website www.uj.ac.za.   

I also wish to remind our employees and students that the Logistics Department will provide transport to the Netcare Milpark and Liberty Life COVID-19 vaccination sites onMondays and Thursdays between 14h00 and 16h00. Requests from employees must be submitted via their line manager to the campus health clinic a day in advance so that proper arrangements can be made.  Once vaccinated, you can get your vaccination certificate from the South African COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate System Portal  (https://vaccine.certificate.health.gov.za/) If you downloaded a certificate when the system was initially introduced, please ensure that you download a recent certificate (version 2).  

The University has put measures in place to assist employees, contractors and other stakeholders who may have difficulty in uploading their vaccination certificates or applying for exemption. We will optimise existing facilities such as computer labs, clinics and registration facilities for such purposes. Employees may also seek assistance from their line managers or contact the Campus Health Clinics for assistance. They can email mgeya@uj.ac.za or mirandat@uj.ac.za before the deadlines. You may also visit the UJ website www.uj.ac.za.  You may also dial +27 11 559 4555 or email mylife@uj.ac.za.   

The ICS Department is already assisting employees without computer equipment, access to email or with any difficulties they may face in uploading their vaccination certificates at the Campus points below:   

  • APK – E-Les 201  
  • APB – Con-Cowan G210  
  • DFC – JOB 2231  
  • SWC – Braam Fischer 203
If an employee is still non-compliant, the employee will not be granted access to campus unless they are able to provide proof on a negative COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test.   As explained above, a return to normalcy on campus will enable our University community to access campuses and learning and facilities. Apart from recognising the importance of group projects and a return to campus for the ease of access to resources, many want to partake in sporting and extra-mural activities. As Professor Jonathan Jansen, a prominent academic in our country put it, a university campus is “a locale for learning the balance between competing demands of sports, arts, culture, academics.” In particular, life-long lessons and social skills will be beneficial in future.   In this regard, I am pleased that the 15th Intervarsity Rugby will soon return to campuses, as matches can be staged at universities nationwide. Between 14 February and 25 April 2022, our Orange Army will crisscross the country as they search for the first title of the tournament. Also next month, UJ will host athletic competitions at the UJ Athletics Stadium in Westdene in their third encounter of this tournament. Under the current COVID-19 Alert Level 1, “gatherings are restricted to no more than 1 000 people indoors and no more than 2 000 people outdoors.” Those who wish to be at the stadium will need to have been vaccinated.   On a different note, next week Wednesday, 3 February 2022, marks the beginning of the next population and housing Census (“the total count of a population whereby all people – including children, babies, homeless people and foreign nationals within the borders of a country – are counted” according to StatsSA). This data is useful to measure a country’s socio-economic dynamics – people’s living conditions, access to basic services, income, etc. This is important for budget allocations across local, provincial and national government. Census 2022 is the first digital population count, and respondents will have the option to complete a questionnaire with or without the assistance of a census fieldworker. Click here for more information on this.   The University leadership will continue to monitor the national and provincial COVID-19 outlook, and an update will be provided accordingly. This information may be verified by visiting: www.uj.ac.za/coronavirus. Should any of you experience symptoms of the coronavirus, please use the National Hotline of 0800 029 999 or WhatsApp line 0600 123456 or go to the following link for more information: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/.       Please also continue to visit our COVID-19 portal on the UJ website for valuable information, including health and wellbeing. Only information issued via the University’s official communication platforms is legitimate. This information may be verified by visiting: https://www.uj.ac.za/coronavirus/. We appeal to all to adhere to the recommended precautionary measures, hygiene and physical distancing (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public) at all times.               Kea leboga, enkosi, baie dankie, ndi a livhuwa!    Professor Tshilidzi Marwala    Vice-Chancellor and Principal     University of Johannesburg               Times mentioned in this newsletter refer to the South African time-zone.
Uj Vc

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