In seeking to disentangle themselves from the constraints of apartheid, South African
universities have immersed themselves in an identity modification process in which they not only
seek to redress the past, but also to reposition their identities as equal opportunity and non-racial
institutions. In this paper, we investigate how the University of the Western Cape, the University
of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University have used visual and verbal semiotics to re-design
their identities on their homepages to appeal to diverse national and international clients. Using
Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA), we show how the multi-semiotic choices work together on
the homepages to give the universities differentiated, competitive, powerful and attractive brands.
We conclude that the homepages blended cultural semiotic artefacts, historical, global and transformational
discourses, and architectural landscapes to construct different brand identities that, in turn,
rebrand the universities from edifices of apartheid education to equal opportunity institutions.