The Fossil Free UCT campaign

The Fossil Free UCT campaign was the founding campaign of Fossil Free SA, and is an ongoing collaboration with partners such as the UCT Green Campus Initiative (GCI) and the (now inactive) Climate Action Project. We continue to make divestment by Africa’s leading university from the fossil fuels that are so deadly to Africans a key priority in our work.

Who decides how UCT invests?

UCT’s finances are overseen by:

  • On a day-to-day basis, the Joint Investment Committee (a rather secretive body; we cannot find out who serves on it). The JIC answers to:
  • Council, UCT’s highest decision-making body.
  • The new University Panel on Responsible Investment (established as a result of our lobbying), chaired by Professor Tom Moultrie, which will in theory advise the JIC on how to modify its practices to incorporate responsible investment considerations.

The Vice-Chancellor is a member of all three bodies.

However, it is not yet clear:

  • How robust the UPRI’s advice will be
  • Whether the JIC will follow the UPRI’s guidance, and,
  • What will happen if the two bodies disagree. 

UCT’s Convocation is ‘a statutory body administered by the Office of the Registrar. It comprises graduates and all holders of diplomas and certificates of the university, the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors and the academic staff, as well as emeritus professors and emeritus associate professors.’

Convocation has now voted TWICE in favour of divestment. Unfortunately, Convocation’s votes are non-binding, and the administration has not implemented its resolutions.

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