Societies & recreation

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Student Affairs: Societies

UCT has more than 80 societies reflecting a wide range of interests, including academic, religious, artistic and political activities.

Membership of these societies is open to all members of the university, including staff members. However, non-UCT students cannot hold office in any of these structures, although they can be ordinary members. Non UCT-students may be required to pay a subscription fee where applicable as decided by a society or organisation from time to time.

A society may grant honorary membership to anyone upon recommendation of the executive.

Politically based

These organisations largely represent national structures and are linked to national political parties. Their activities include attending national gatherings, and inviting politicians and scholars to speak at meetings.

Amnesty International
ANC Youth League
Democratic Alliance Students' Organisation (DASO)
South African Students' Congress (SASCO)
Young Communist League (YCL)

Academically based

These are department- or faculty-based organisations. However, membership cuts across all disciplines. Some of these societies hold seminars on various topics while others concentrate on community development programmes.

Activ Science
Biological Society
Black Law Students' Forum (BLSF)
Geographical Society
History and Current Affairs Society
Political Science Students' Association (POLSSA)
Physiotherapy Society
South African Medical Students' Association (SAMSA)
Students' Computing Association
Surgical Society


This constitutes one of the largest sectors, representing almost all major religious beliefs, doctrines and denominations. Many of these societies have ties with local religious structures. Although UCT is a secular campus, it makes the attempt to accommodate everyone and allow them to exercise their beliefs freely without interfering with the academic programme and other faiths.

Acts Kolbe Catholic Society (Acts)
Anglican Students' Society
Baha'i Society
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF)
Church of Christ
Church on Main
Earthlife Africa
Hindu Students' Society (HSS)
His People
Islamic Society (IS)
Jubilee Students
Lively Stones Fellowship
Perspective Newspaper
South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS)
Seventh Day Adventist Student Movement (SDASM)
Student Christian Association (SCA)
Student Christian Fellowship (SCF)
Student YMCA
Students for Life Society
Wesley Guild Society (Guild)
Zion Christian Student Fellowship (ZCSF)

Nationally/Culturally based

These societies largely represent national and cultural interests. However, membership is not drawn exclusively from the relevant countries. In many instances, leadership positions are held by students of other nationalities.

Abantu Zambian Society (ZamSoc)
Angolan Students' Society (AngoSoc)
Botswana Students' Association (BotSoc)
Congolese Society (CongoSoc)
East African Students' Association
Ghana Society
Hlanganani Students' Society
Lesotho Students' Association (LeSa)
Malawi Students' Society
Mauritian Students' Society
Mozambican Association of Students
Nigerian Students' Society (NSS)
Namibian Students' Organisation (NamSo)
Republic of China Students' Association (Rocsa)
Slavic Students' Society
Swazi Students' Society
Zimbabwe Society (ZimSoc)

Special interest

Some of these societies have associations with national or outside bodies, and have membership numbers ranging from 30 members to as many as 600. Activities in this sector include health issues, music and dance, entrepreneurial skills and mentoring.

African Film Resource Organisation (AFRO)
Awake the African Spirit Society
Ballroom Dancing
Art of Living Hartha Yoga Society
Bhakti Yoga Society
Black Management Forum (BMF)
Cape Legion of Adventurers and War Gamers (Claws)
Debating Union
Film Society
Flying Club
Habitat For Humanity
Hip-hop Club
HIV/AIDS Youth Peer Education (HYPE)
Impilo Students' Society (ISS)
Investment Society (InvestSoc)
Photographic Society
Rainbow Organisation
Rural Support Network (RSN)
Toastmasters' Club
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
Ubumbo Society
UCT Choir
UCT Choir for Africa
Whiskey Connoisseurs' Society
Wine Culture Society
Hellenic Students' Association

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Mbulelo Ntlabati
Tel: 021 650 5047