We aim to be a leading African centre for research and study of computer science and information systems, producing world class graduates and research while playing a positive role in the upliftment and empowerment of our community. This is only possible through the excellent endeavour of our academic staff, all with strong CS/IS/IT background, in theoretical and research areas, as well as contemporary industry experience.

We have a dual mandate: to bring the best of IT knowledge to the classroom for dissemination to students and to assist in the production of IT knowledge through active research and publication.  

(Director: Jean-Paul van Belle)

The main research focus of CITANDA\ is the role of ICT in National Development. This entails looking at the relevance of current information systems issues in the context of both the first-world and developing context within South Africa as well as the rest of African. In particular, the following specific research areas have been identified by the staff as areas of strength.

  • Education: Educational technologies for previously disadvantaged SA students; teaching educationally disadvantaged students; e-learning; IS staff and skills shortages; IS careers; perceptions of IS in work and study; computer literacy.
  • Management of the IS function: IS planning; strategic aspects of IS systems; management information systems; systems thinking in IS; enterprise IS architectures; management of IS professionals; enterprise computing; computer supported cooperative work & EMS.
  • Knowledge management: indigenous KM systems; modelling; data mining.System development: methodologies of IS development; teams and project management; OO approaches to systems development; system development approaches.
  • Electronic commerce and business: e-markets; SME's; mobile computing; e-business models; e-government.
  • Development and cultural issues: IS and culture; the digital divide; IT implementation and 1st world technologies in 3rd world environment; gender issues in IS and women in IT; IT government policy; open source software; IT adoption.
  • Cybersecurity: security governance; security intelligence; computer forensics; behavioural issues (human aspects); security education training and awareness; information privacy.

(Director: Professor Tommie Meyer, Deputy Director: Associate Professor Deshen Moodley)

The Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) is a national centre, hosted by the CSIR, with nodes at a number of South African universities. CAIR conducts research related to foundational and applied aspects of Artificial Intelligence. The UCT node has a specific focus on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, as well as Adaptive and Cognitive Systems, and explores applications of Artificial Intelligence for social and economic development in South Africa and Africa.


The Centre is no longer operational as of 2021; however, research in various areas of ICT4D continues within other research groups in the School.

(Co-ordinator: Professor J Gain)

Topics of research include: Collaborative Virtual Environments; Usability and Human-Computer Interaction; Computer Graphics; Image Analysis applied to Medical Images; Virtual Reality and Behavioural Therapy; allowing end-users to create interesting virtual environments; Interaction with Mobile Computing Devices; Scalable Interfaces; and implications of these for Government Information Technology Policy. Special interests within the CVC lab include Socially Aware Computing, VR Methodology, Virtual Environments, Modelling and Procedural Graphics.

(Co-ordinator: Professor H Suleman)

Research areas covered within digital libraries include information storage and retrieval; multilingual retrieval; Web-based systems; scalable and flexible repositories; interoperability and protocols; component-based systems; Open Access; and cultural heritage preservation.

(Co-ordinator: Associate Professor M Kuttel)

This laboratory investigates aspects of high performance computing, including: parallel algorithms; multi-core and GPU programming; computational science; and scientific visualisation.

(Co-ordinators: Associate Professor Melissa Densmore)

Affiliated with the Centre in ICT4D, this laboratory takes a human-centred approach to the design and deployment of systems. Domains of research include design for mothers, design for community-health workers, local content creation for communities, media-based peer health education, and co-design across borders, with a focus on the role of HCI in making effective, usable and sustainable systems to address problems of inequality and social justice.

(Co-ordinator: Professor A Hutchison)

Computer Network Security: this group aims to design and implement network security protocols to address problems of security in web services, cloud computing environments and enterprise environments; research includes goal-oriented protocol design and identity management.

(Co-ordinators: Dr Josiah Chavula and Dr David L Johnson)

The Net4D laboratory focuses on the design and implementation of network infrastructure suitable for developing regions, as well as methods for sharing information in resource-scarce areas using alternative technologies. Main areas of research include Network Measurements, Wireless Community Networks, Cloudlets, Software Defined Networking (SDN), and AI-driven network engineering. Our work involves a mix of creating solutions using network theory and systems, combined with trial networks that provide tangible measurable results. Net4D laboratory is affiliated to the UCT Centre in ICT4D.

For more information on the research being conducted by our team, visit the Academic Staff page where you will find links to their research profiles.