Theft is the most common crime on campus. The best means of prevention is to reduce or remove the opportunity:

  • Whenever you leave your office, laboratory or residence, lock the door and close all the windows, even if you are leaving for only a short time.
  • Never leave access doors propped open.
  • Lock your purse or wallet in a drawer or filing cabinet while you are in the office.
  • Don’t leave your bag or backpack unsupervised in public places.
  • Never leave items on display inside your car while it is parked.
  • Invest in a steering, wheel or gear lock for your car.
  • Engrave your property, preferably with your driver’s licence number.
  • Keep a record of the serial numbers and descriptions of your valuables.

In residence

  • Keep emergency numbers accessible, whether it’s next to your phone or fixed to your desk.
  • Secure your door and windows when you are alone or asleep.
  • Don’t hide your keys in a traditional location, such as under the doormat.
  • Don’t put your home address on your key ring.
  • Get to know your neighbours and keep an eye on one another’s rooms.
  • Don’t leave messages on your door to indicate you’ll be away for any length of time.
  • Don’t keep large sums of money in your room.
  • Take your valuables home when you go on vacation.

The best way to prevent crime is to be aware of your surroundings, and particularly the people in your environment. Criminals rely on the community being indifferent. Be alert for suspicious persons in and around campus buildings and in parking areas. You should ask yourself questions such as:

  • Are they hanging around for no apparent reason?
  • Are they looking into cars as they walk through the parking areas?
  • Are they going from room to room trying doorknobs?
  • Are they carrying valuable property from buildings after normal working hours?

Don't follow suspicious persons. If you are confronted by a criminal who is armed, or claims to be armed, give up your property immediately.

If you see anything suspicious, or if you have been the victim of a crime, call CPS on +27 (0)21 650 2222/3.

Precautions when walking:

  • Walk in a group, especially at night.
  • Avoid walking in dark or deserted areas, and stay away from shortcuts.
  • Don’t drink and walk.
  • Call +27 (0)21 650 2222 or +27 (0)21 650 2121 to arrange for a CPS escort when walking late at night within UCT premises.
  • Make use of the UCT Shuttle, which runs a night service.
  • Use the foot route whenever possible. The route is regularly patrolled by security officers on scooters.
  • Don’t walk with headphones on.
  • Don’t walk and talk/SMS on your cellphone.
  • Don’t carry large sums of money with you.
  • Carry your wallet in an inside pocket – never in the back pocket of your trousers.
  • Don’t stop or offer help when unknown people try to flag you down.
  • Don’t walk around with a laptop bag – rather use a backpack.

Precautions when driving:

  • Avoid parking your car in isolated areas.
  • Keep your possessions out of sight – lock all your valuables in the boot.
  • Have your car key ready when approaching your car.
  • Lock the doors as soon as you get into your car.
  • Drive on well-travelled streets, and never pick up hitchhikers.
  • If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station, shop or business to seek help.
  • If your car breaks down, stay inside your locked car and use your cellphone to call an emergency service. If a person stops to help you, don’t get out of your car. Ask them to call for professional help.

When catching a taxi

  • Don’t enter an empty or almost empty taxi.
  • Make sure it’s a legal taxi by checking the route on the doors.
  • Take only taxis that are clearly identified with official markings – details of the owners should be on the door.
  • If the taxi goes off route, demand that the driver stops to let you out.
  • Refrain from sitting at the back of the taxi.
  • Women are advised to not travel alone when using public transport.
  • There is safety in numbers, so travel in a group if possible.
  • Avoid showing any expensive jewellery, cameras, cellphones and other valuables.
  • Keep your handbag with you, closed or zipped, and don’t leave it unattended.
  • Don’t carry large sums of money with you.
  • Carry your wallet in an inside pocket – never in the back pocket of your trousers.
  • If you are threatened, cooperate and hand over your valuables.

The UCT Shuttle provides staff and students with convenient and safe bus transport between UCT’s campuses and residences.

The service runs during the day from Monday to Friday from 06:45 to 18:00; and it operates at night from Monday to Friday from 18:30 to 01:00 and on Friday from 18:30 to 22:00. On Saturdays and Sundays the service is confined to the residence loop from 07:10 to 02:00.

Pick up points:

  • Leo Marquard/Tugwell
  • Forest Hill/Varietas
  • Liesbeek Gardens
  • Clarinus
  • Medical School
  • Hiddingh Hall

The UCT Shuttle offices are based on the lower campus near Leo Marquard Residence.

For more information, contact them on +27 (0)21 689 3496 or +27 (0)21 685 7135 or view the UCT Shuttle web pages: Staff | Students.


Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. If you are sexually assaulted, get yourself to a safe place and tell the first person you see and trust what happened to you. Whether or not you decide to report the matter to the police, it’s important for you to have follow-up medical treatment so that you can get prophylactic treatment for HIV/AIDS if necessary.

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped:

  1. Call CPS on +27 (0)21 650 2222/3. Their officers are trained to deal with these situations.
  2. If possible, get yourself to a safe place and, if it would help, inform someone you trust (eg a friend, warden, lecturer or head of department).
  3. Don’t wash yourself. If you think you need a forensic examination, don’t clean yourself in any way until after the examination.
  4. Visit Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit within 72 hours of the incident for medical help and support.
  5. Call the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 082 522 1078 to report the case. Reporting the case does not mean you are laying a charge.
  6. Follow up on the legal process.
  7. Contact the Student Wellness Service for psychological support on +27 (0)21 650 1017 (office hours) or the Rape Crisis 24-hour helpline on +27 (0)21 447 9762.

In case of fire:

  • Raise the alarm.
  • Call CPS on +27 (0)21 650 2222/3
  • Inform the warden or another authorised person.
  • Follow the building evacuation procedure if necessary.
  • Contain the fire if you can do so without endangering yourself; otherwise wait for CPS officers to arrive.

In medical emergencies:

  • Call CPS on +27 (0)21 650 2222/3.
  • Don’t risk causing further injuries to the patient if you don’t have first-aid training; rather wait for CPS officers to arrive.
  • Call a health and safety representative to assist.
  • Inform the warden or another authorised person.

Important contact numbers

Campus Protection Services +27 (0)21 650 2222/3
Burnage +27 (0)21 650 2222/3
Robert Leslie (upper campus) +27 (0)21 650 2121/4080
Forest Hill (Residence) +27 (0)21 650 3856
Medical Campus +27 (0)21 406 6100
Hiddingh Campus +27 (0)21 480 7101
Student Health Centre +27 (0)21 650 1017/1020
Sexual Harassment Assistance +27 (0)21 650 3530
Safety, Health & Environment Officer +27 (0)21 650 2660/2246
Traffic Services +27 (0)21 650 3640/3312/3
Access Control +27 (0)21 650 1199
SAPS (Rondebosch) +27 (0)21 685 6600/6601
SAPS (Mowbray) +27 (0)21 680 9580
SAPS (Woodstock) +27 (0)21 442 3177