UCT Receives Over R100 Million To Cover Costs of Fire Damage

In April 2021, parts of the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus were destroyed in a runaway fire. The University has now received over R100 million as part of interim insurance payments to cover costs related to the damages caused by the fire.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT), Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has released a statement regarding the progress of recovery after the damage to the University’s campus caused by a fire on 18 April 2021.

Phakeng states that the University has received more than R100 million as part of interim insurance payments to cover costs related to the fire damages.

She says that the full insurance amount can only be determined once they consider the lost rare and antiquated materials, heritage buildings, and assets which will take time as they have to consider many variables.

This interim insurance payment will mean that the University will not need to make use of internal funding that the UCT Council has made available to help with expenses during the early part of the recovery process.

The institution has not been urged to pursue legal action and has not done so. It is said that any legal action taken will be between the insurers of UCT, the City of Cape Town, and SANParks.

While the university works to rebuild the Jagger Library which suffered significant structural damage they say that they have also taken recovery steps for staff and students who were affected by the fire.

Phakeng says that all affected student residences have been repaired and students and staff members who lost personal items during the fire have been paid.

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After the extensive rebuilding at the HW Pearson Building, the university says the building is near completion. All temporary worksites on the main plaza on the UCT upper campus have been removed, including all containers used by UCT Libraries for archive salvage.

The University has thanked all volunteers, donors, staff, students, government, corporates, and the community for all the support and commitment they have offered in the recovery process.

Phakeng’s statement read:

As we continue the journey of recovery, we draw from each other’s strength, resilience and the well of ideas and contributions of UCT community members. You are all an important part of this new chapter in the life of the university.


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