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07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Patricia de Lille: “Know the difference between right and wrong.”
2010-03-04

From the left are: Jeanie Britz, MBA student; Garth Botha, MBA student; Ms De Lille; Prof. Tienie Crous, Dean: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the UFS; and Prof. Helena van Zyl, Director: School of Management at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett


Ms Patricia de Lille, the Leader of the Independent Democrats, recently paid a visit to the School of Management at the University of the Free State (UFS). She spoke to students in the MBA programme about the leadership challenges South African business leaders are facing.

Ms De Lille voiced her opinion on many current issues, such as corruption. “Business is standing back with its arms folded and leaving everything to government. In fact, business is doing something very similar to what it was doing during apartheid,” she said.

She added that a business leader and his or her business could be found behind every corrupt transaction. “It is a relationship involving more than one party. If someone accepts a bribe, someone else is paying a bribe,” she said.

Ms De Lille lashed out at business leaders who received extravagant salaries and bonuses even after they had been asked to leave the company. “South Africa needs a new generation of business leaders that truly know the difference between right and wrong,” she pointed out. “And it’s wrong to demand the rest of your contract’s money and bonus after you have been fired because you obviously didn’t do your work.”

Ms De Lille also focused on the role that South African business played. Business should engage with the government to identify problems and find solutions to speed up transformation. “We need young entrepreneurs that are patriotic and think out of the box,” she said.

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