Resumption of the 2021 academic year

Dear SPU Staff and Students

The call by the South African Union of Students (SAUS), for a national shutdown of universities, which our SRC supported, had an adverse effect on the functioning of the University over the past few days. However, at this crucial time of the year it is important for us to resume our academic and administrative operations. To this end, the University Management engaged in discussions with the SRC to find mutually agreeable solutions to the students’ demands. 

However, to ensure the protection of the rights of all the staff and students in the University to go about their business, the University Management sought and was granted an Interim Order by the High Court of South Africa (Northern Cape Division, Kimberley) against the SRC and any other students or persons who have disrupted the start to the academic year.

The order prohibits the SRC and any other students or persons from:

  • blocking access to the University campuses,
  • barricading or obstructing entrances and exits,
  • threatening, assaulting, or intimidating staff, students, and contractors,
  • disrupting or interfering with the academic, logistical, and administrative operations of the University,
  • disrupting or interfering with any staff or contractors in the exercise of their duties,
  • interfering with the free movement of vehicles and pedestrians or barricading the streets in the vicinity of the University campuses.

In light of this, all staff are requested to return to work to prepare for the resumption of the academic year on Monday, 29 March 2021.  A schedule for the phased return of students to campus, under the current lockdown level 1, will be released soon.

A revised 2021 academic calendar will be presented to Senate for approval this week. Students can be assured that they will receive the necessary support to make up the lost time.

In the meantime, late registration of first-time entering students and returning students will continue until 31 March 2021. 

I hope that the challenges associated with the student protests that we have experienced thus far will be resolved and that we can give our full focus to achieving another successful academic year.


Kind regards

Professor Andrew M. Crouch

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

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