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Legacy Society

The Legacy Society honours UCT alumni and friends who have left, or are planning to leave, a legacy in the form of a bequest or provision to the university in their wills. 

The UCT Legacy Society was established in by former Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Stuart Saunders, who was the society's first President. Professor Saunders is a Specialist Physician who has made an outstanding contribution to medical research and higher education in South Africa. He was awarded the Order of the Baobab in Silver by President Thabo Mbeki in 2002 for medical research and outstanding contribution to university education.

At the end of 2010 Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson, took over the reigns. Prof Wilson is a highly acclaimed author and taught at the UCT School of Economics for 40 years. He founded the South African Labour & Development Research Unit and directed the Second Carnegie Inquiry into Poverty and Development. His term as president of the Legacy Society came to an end in 2017. 


From Left: Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson and Emeritus Professor Stuart Saunders

In 2018, Registrar Emeritus Hugh Amoore takes the reigns. Registrar Emeritus Amoore's career at UCT as a student and staff member spanned 46 years, from 1970 to 2015. Amoore served as Registrar for 29 years, from 1987 to 2015. He retains an active interest in university matters, serving on committees on behalf of Universities South Africa (USAf). He remains committed to UCT and the challenges it faces.

 Registrar Emeritus Hugh Amoore


Making a Bequest

A bequest is a specific provision in your will, directing some of the assets in your estate to the university. Bequests are also known as 'planned' or 'deferred' gifts. The advantage of this type of giving is that you still have the use of your assets during your lifetime, with the satisfaction of knowing that a part of your estate will support UCT's tradition of academic excellence into the future.

The benefits to you of making a bequest to UCT

Making a deferred gift to UCT through a bequest means:

  • You have the use of your assets during your lifetime
  • You can consider many options to ensure that your bequest is personally meaningful
  • A bequest to the university is exempt from estate duty in terms of the relevant section of the Estate Duty Act, and thereby reduces the value of the estate which is subject to taxation. (Those who reside in countries other than South Africa should please contact the Development and Alumni Department for guidance on local estate duty laws.)
  • Your gift will be appropriately recognised during your lifetime through membership of UCT's Legacy Society
  • Your legacy will benefit UCT and its students for decades to come.

What if I already have a will and wish to add UCT as a beneficiary?

If you would wish to add UCT as a beneficiary to a will that has already been drawn up, you can add a codicil (which is an addendum, or supplement) to your existing will. The codicil must be signed by the testator, and also by two witnesses who do not stand to benefit from your will or codicil.

If you would like us to send you a sample codicil, please email Fahim Docrat

There is great flexibility in making a bequest

You have several options when making a bequest in your will. You can bequeath

  • a specific sum of money - this is the simplest bequest, but it is also the most easily affected by inflation.
  • a percentage of your estate - thereby ensuring a specific distribution between your beneficiaries regardless of any changes to your estate.
  • the residue of your estate - after having made provision for your dependants you may choose to bequeath the remainder of your estate to UCT.
  • a life assurance policy - you can sign over an existing policy or take out a new one, naming UCT as the beneficiary.
  • real estate, artworks, antiques, jewellery and other valuables. It is advisable to talk to your lawyer, estate administrator, or financial adviser about the best choice for you and your family.

Making your intentions clear

It is important that your intentions are clearly defined in your will. We can provide examples of suitable wording that will ensure that your bequest accomplishes exactly what you intended. You may make an unrestricted or a restricted bequest, and you can choose whether your donation should be spent in the near term to meet immediate needs, or invested in the endowment (managed by the University of Cape Town Foundation, an independent body) where the annual investment proceeds support UCT in perpetuity. An unrestricted bequest to the endowment leaves the future investment and utilisation of your gift to the discretion of the University of Cape Town Foundation Trustees.

An unrestricted bequest to the University allows UCT flexibility to direct your bequest to areas of greatest current need. Alternatively you may wish to make a restricted bequest, with a specific purpose or designation in mind, and again either for spending in the near term or investment in the endowment. You may, for example, wish to establish a scholarship or bursary for financially disadvantaged students, named in honour of a friend, colleague or family member. You may wish to endow a chair, or purchase books for the library, or assist in equipping a laboratory. There are many possibilities.

To discuss this matter in strictest confidence, please contact our Legacy Manager: Fahim Docrat

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