UCT's Fire Recovery
Significant progress continues to be made in the aftermath of the fires that damaged several buildings at the University of Cape Town on 18 April.
The first stage of UCT's recovery plan has been completed. The campus has been made safe, most students have returned to their residences, and as much normal academic life as possible has resumed.
The work of salvaging materials continues apace. This has involved a huge number of dedicated UCT staff and 2,000 volunteers. After 17 days, all the material from the archives underneath the Jagger Library has been removed. A specialist team of conservators is working on site, with freeze drying and humidifying facilities to help rehabilitate the delicate items.
All this work has been undertaken while maintaining normal library services for researchers and students, and while following Covid-safe procedures - such that no one involved in the salvage work has tested positive for Covid-19.
In the long term, some buildings will be returned to their original condition, but in other cases – such as the Jagger Library Reading Room – the extensive damage has offered an opportunity to innovate and increase the sustainability of the campus.
UCT has expressed its gratitude for the many offers of support for students and staff from friends and partners throughout the world.
Further details of the recovery process are available on the UCT website.
Photo: Photo credit: Lerato Maduna and Je’nine May, https://www.news.uct.ac.za/, licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.