Transport & parking

Campus parking

The following is a set of policies, principles and operations that are intended to regulate parking on the various campuses of the University of Cape Town.

They are an extension of the Access Management Plan and need to be read in conjunction with the published traffic rules for staff and students.

Policies and principles are intended to be more general and enduring whereas implementation may vary according to specific circumstances at the time.

The campus is perceived to be easily accessible by car with an expectation that parking will be provided. Sustained pressure from staff and students for more parking has resulted in a degraded environment in which extensive and inappropriate areas have been allocated for parking. The result is that it is over-parked, both legitimately and by students parking illegally.

At the same time the upper campus specifically is not accommodating to and does not project an appearance of openness and willingness to engage with the Cape Town community.

This situation has arisen because of an increase in the number of students, increased car usage and a longer day spent on campus without any increase in the parking bays provided.

Students parking on the streets in the neighbourhood, and the resulting inconvenience and degrading effect, are a source of conflict with the property owners in the vicinity of the campus in the Rondebosch / Observatory area.

The goal of the Access Management Plan is to provide equitable and safe access to the campus while improving quality of life and environmental values.

Further surface parking (with some exceptions in outlying areas) will not be increased, and the creation of further structured parking (above or below ground) is not within the university's financial reach.

The Access Management Plan calls for the establishment of park-and-ride facilities, both on and off campus. The idea is to provide free parking for staff and students to ease the parking demand on campus and closer to the academic buildings.


There is substantial difference in the parking privileges allowed for staff, students and visitors, and parking priorities have been agreed as follows:

  1. Mobility impaired drivers
  2. Visitors
  3. Staff whose functions require access and parking
  4. Staff remote from campus (or public transport)
  5. Staff living close to campus (within the range of a collector bus service)
  6. Senior students remote from Campus (or public transport)
  7. Junior students remote from campus (or public transport)
  8. Students living close to campus (within the range of a collector bus service)
  9. Students in residence.

Parking on campus and in designated park-and-ride sites is restricted to cars displaying a current parking disk or visitors permit (blue slip).

The principle of pricing of parking disks is to make the cost of parking on campus and the related journey costs proportionate with the convenience and comfort of this mode of access when related to alternative modes of access. This is implemented by regarding the commercial rate for parking in comparable situations as a benchmark and for the university to subsidise this cost progressively to a lesser and lesser degree in establishing the fees for the various categories of disk-holders.

A general principle of uniformity across the entire campus is observed, despite slight differences in circumstances.

The concept of overselling (the number of disks sold beyond the number of disks available in a particular area) is incorporated into the system to a greater or lesser degree according to the seniority of the disk-holder and the corresponding type of disk. Red bays are oversold to a limited extent to ensure the availability of vacant bays at most times of day whereas student bays are oversold to an unlimited extent.

No bays shall be reserved for staff or students on a permanent basis, other than bays authorised by the disability unit for the sole purpose of disabled persons.


Parking disks are only valid for the specific vehicle for which the disk has been purchased (except for student lift clubs).

A student registered for the first undergraduate year of study shall not bring onto, or park on university property, any vehicle other than a motor cycle.

A controlled access precinct has been established on the Upper Campus by means of two sets of booms on the ring road. Traffic office staff control these booms in order to limit access to staff, certain graduate students, authorised visitors and parents transporting their children to the Educare Centre, as long as they are displaying a valid disk.

The following types of disks/permits are available to staff, students and visitors:

Red parking disk

  • Academic staff with the rank of senior lecturer and above and PASS staff of pay class 10 and above are entitled to purchase these parking disks for an annual fee. This entitles them to park in a marked red parking bay in a designated area as requested and as indicated on the disk, or park in a red parking bay in any other area or any other campus.
  • University Council members are entitled to obtain a red parking disk endorsed as such, free of charge. This allows them to park in any red or yellow parking bay.
  • All staff and students with one or more disabilities who have met the criteria issued by the disability unit, are entitled to purchase a red parking disk endorsed as disabled, for an annual fee. This allows them park in a disabled bay.

Yellow parking disk

  • All staff are entitled to purchase these parking discs for an annual fee. This allows them to search for parking in yellow parking bays in designated areas. Staff holding yellow parking discs may only park in yellow parking bays on all campuses.
  • Students employed by the University and earning a minimum of R16 000 per month qualify for yellow bays.

Masters/Phd parking disc – P18

  • All Masters/Phd students are entitled to come to the Traffic Office on the first working day of November to put their names on a list to apply for a Masters/Phd parking disc, for an annual fee. This allows them to park in the P18 bays on Upper Campus and unmarked bays on any other campus. There are a limited amount of bays that are given and it is on a first come first served basis. This must be done annually.

Blue parking disk

  • All students, except those registered for the first undergraduate year of study, are entitled to purchase these parking disks for an annual fee. This allows them to search for parking in an unmarked parking bay on all campuses.

Green parking disk

  • All student residents in Smuts Hall and Fuller Hall are entitled to purchase these parking disks for an annual fee. This allows them to park in a specific numbered bay in the parking area between the residences.

Temporary parking disk

  • Visitors to the Campus for more than one day are entitled to purchase these disks for a daily fee. This entitles them to park in yellow or unmarked parking bays.
  • Students second-year and more can purchase temporary parking discs from Visitors Information or Traffic Admin at a cost per day, week and month to park in unmarked bays on all Campuses. Office hours: Mon–Thurs 08:30–15:30, Fri 08:30–15:00.

Transit disk

  • Parents of children attending the Educare Centre are entitled to apply for this disks. This allows them to enter the controlled area on Upper Campus in order to drop off and collect children.

Black parking disk

  • All staff and students who access the campus on a motorcycle are required to purchase these disks for an annual fee. This allows them to park in designated areas.

Rhodes Memorial parking disk

  • First year & other students may apply for this disc. There are 58 bays.

Visitors permit

  • Casual and regular commercial visitors (any person who is not a registered student or staff member of the University of Cape Town), visiting the campus, are entitled to obtain a visitors permit (blue slip), free of charge. This allows them to park in visitors bay for a period not exceeding the time limit prescribed on the permit.

More than one but not more than four students may purchase, for a fee, a single blue parking disk for up to four vehicles.

Staff and students may purchase a disk for more than one vehicle provided they are owned by the same person.

Student parking disk holders in residence are entitled to park in designated areas on the campus near their respective residences and within the grounds of off-campus residences. These students may also park in unmarked bays on any campus.

Student disk holders in Smuts and Fuller Halls may not park on the Upper Campus except in the designated parking area.

Red and yellow parking disks are valid for a calendar year. Student parking disks will be issued for a calendar year and remain valid until March 1 of the next calendar year.