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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

World class hockey at the UFS
2010-12-09

Gilles Bonnet, the South African coach, has roped in international specialist trainers to help with the preparations for the test series against Argentina, the current world champions. These trainers are Andrew Meredith, Assistant Coach National Men's Hockey Team at Deutsche Hockey Bund, Adel Fuentes, Assistant Coach of Argentina’s Men's Hockey Team, Frank Stofmeel, a Technical Director of SportWays and Martijn Drijver, Spanish and Dutch National Goalkeeper Coach from 2003 to 2009.

The test series against Argentina kicked off on Sunday 12 December at 17:30 on the UFS astros, where all the matches will be played.

The test matches will be played on the following days:

Sunday 12 December at 17:30
Monday 13 December at 17:30
Tuesday 14 December at 17:30
Thursday 16 December at 15:00
Friday 17 December at 10:00

The entrance fee is R15 per person and season tickets can be bought for R45 per ticket. For more information, contact Frans van der Watt at 083 283 9611 or 051 401 2540 or Spvdw@ufs.ac.za.


 

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