MUT not a high risk institution in terms of COVID-19 infections

Press release                                                                                                  27 August 2020

For immediate release

Bheki Hlophe – 082 432 1805

 

MUT not a high risk institution in terms of COVID-19 infections

Mangosuthu University of Technology wants to put it on record that the Institution is not among six of the high risk universities in terms of COVID-19 infections and transmission, despite erroneous reports by eNCA and other media houses.

The erroneous news reports came after Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande through various media platforms provided measures in the post-school education and training sector during COVID-19 alert Level 2 on 26 August 2020.  In his report, the Minister provided a state of readiness for various higher education institutions to receive more learners onto their campuses.  MUT was announced as being within the six high risk institutions in relation to the provision of multi-modal remote teaching and learning.  The Minister’s announcement was a comment on the stage at which MUT is at regarding the provision of online teaching materials to our students based on the plans and reports that the Institution provided to the Minister.

It is unfortunate that despite, Dr Nzimande’s clear explanation that the classifications were based on reports by institutions on their operations and plans to complete the 2020 academic year, some media houses have proceeded to create a link between high risk and COVID-19 infections. MUT wants to reiterate that the high risk classification has no relation to the number of COVID-19 infections among MUT staff and students. MUT notes that the report has created an impression that the chances of being infected with COVID-19 were higher at MUT and the other five institutions, which is incorrect and deeply regrettable. What is more concerning is that these media houses did not bother to contact the university for comment on these erroneous stories or for an update on the Institution’s state of readiness as one would have expected.

As things stand, MUT has so far welcomed over 7000 students back to campus as part of the phased return to campus. Taking into account the many precautions and measures put in place to protect the lives of staff and students, the infection rate among our students has been very low.  Today we can report that only three MUT students were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19.  None of the reported student infections could be traced back to campus.  We are confident that all measures put in place are water tight to protect the lives of students while saving the academic year.

Ends

Bheki Hlophe (Mr)
Publications and Media Relations officer: Marketing & Communications
Mangosuthu University of Technology
T: +27 31 907 7195  M: +27 61 283 2257
E: Hlophe@mut.ac.za