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Dear Staff and Students

Today around midday a fire erupted in the Economic Sciences building on the Alice campus. It appears that the blaze started on the second floor of the building. Security staff noticed smoke on campus and alerted the police. The fire brigade was called from Fort Beaufort. On campus, some of our staff used the emergency fire hose nearby to douse the flames until the fire brigade arrived. Dewing construction assisted by making available on-site hoisting equipment to provide better access to the blaze. The second floor of the building was destroyed, but the fire was contained and no other buildings were damaged.


The Registrar and I were on site and received updates on the unfolding situation. Dr Nosisa Mayaba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Institutional Support also inspected the site.


The police have cordoned off the building. At this stage, it is not possible to identify the cause of the fire. We are awaiting a report from the fire brigade and will initiate the required technical investigation.


I want to acknowledge UFH security and maintenance staff and other staff on site, fire brigade staff, members of the SAPS and Dewing Construction for their assistance today. 


The Economic Sciences building is a mixed-use building comprising offices, lecture venues and a computer laboratory.


We will update the University of Fort Hare community once more information becomes available.




Professor Sakhela Buhlungu

Vice-Chancellor and Principal