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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

Multidisciplinary conference on TB control
2003-09-22

Theme: Tuberculosis control: a multidisciplinary approach to research, policy and practice Venue: CR Swart Auditorium, University of the Free State Campus, Bloemfontein Date: 11 and 12 November 2003 Time: 11 November, 19:00-20:30 AND 12 November 08:30-17:00

Tuesday, 11 November - 19:00-20:30 (registration from 18:30) and Wednesday, 12 November - 08:30-17:00 (registration from 07:30)

The Honourable MEC for Health in the Free State will officially open the Conference on the evening of 11 November, while Prof Frederick Fourie (Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State) will attend to the welcoming. In addition, Prof Françoise Portaels (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium) and Dr Refiloe Matji (National Department of Health, South Africa) will respectively present a global and a South African perspective on TB. The majority of the presentations will follow on 12 November.

Main thrust of Conference

The main thrust of the Conference is to disseminate both research results and policy/managerial matters relevant to TB and TB control, and to facilitate discourse among researchers and health policy makers/managers/practitioners in the field of TB control. Presenters of papers, as well as delegates are, therefore, drawn from both academic/research institutions, and from health service sectors involved in TB control in all provinces and in neighbouring countries.

Topics of presentations

A variety of topics will be dealt with during presentations, such as: New challenges in the global control of MDR-TB New strategies and policies on MDR-TB in South Africa A South African perspective on TB control A provincial perspective on implementing the national TB control policy

The role of the public district hospital in TB control Tuberculosis control through DOTS Case detection strategies

TB in children Hospital to clinic: is this the missing link? Patient compliance with DOT for TB Challenges for effective health communications in a multicultural context

The economics of TB Frequency of multiple infections with M. tuberculosis in pulmonary TB patients HIV/AIDS and TB, etc.

Speakers

Among the speakers will be Dr Victor Litlhakanyane (Head of Health: Free State); Prof Françoise Portaels and Dr Leen Rigouts (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium); Dr Reliloe Matji (Director: NTBC Programme); Ntsiki Jolingana (Director: HIV, AIDS, TB and Communicable Diseases, Free State) and Annatjie Peters (Free State TB Coordinator); Dr Karin Weyer (Medical Research Council); Profs Herman Meulemans, Diana De Graeve, Luc Pauwels and Christiane Timmerman (University of Anwerp, Belgium); Dr Lara Fairall (UCT Lung Institute, University of Cape Town); Prof Frikkie Booysen (Department of Economics, University of the Free State); Christo Heunis, Ega Janse van Rensburg-Bonthuyzen, Zacheus Matebesi and Kobus Meyer (CHSR&D); Dr Mary Ednington (School of Public Health, Wits); Dr Carmen Báez and Sabine Verkuijl (ISDS); Anneke Van der Spoel-Van Dijk (Medical Microbiology, University of the Free State).

Costs

There will be no registration fees. However, delegates are expected to arrange their own transport and accommodation, or arrange for sponsorships themselves.

Contact details in case of inquiries and confirmation:

Postal Address: The Director, CHSR&D, PO Box 339, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 9300 Fax: 051 448 0370 Tel: 051 401 2181 OR 051 401 3256 E-mail: vrensh@mail.ufs.ac.za (Dingie van Rensburg) OR neljc@mail.ufs.ac.za (Ohna Nel)

PLEASE, CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BUT AT THE LATEST BEFORE 25 OCTOBER 2003 ? BY TELEPHONE, FAX OR E-MAIL.

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