Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

UFS medical students reach out to the community
2011-04-16

 

The smiles on the children at Beyang Bana Pele Creche in Mangaung were blindingly bright, after their new classrooms and playground were unveiled on Friday 15 April. The creche was renovated by a group of third-year medical students from the UFS.
Photo: Earl Coetzee

A group of third-year medical students from the University of the Free State was responsible for many smiling little faces when they unveiled a entirely renovated crèche to its little students on Friday, 15 April.

Reinhardt Erasmus, Fathima Vawda, Veneshree Govender, Antoi Roets, Riaan Calitz, Motlalepula Mabizela, Tertius Potgieter and Chanel van der Westhuizen were the students responsible for the massive renovation work that went into the Beyang Bana Pele Creché in Mangaung.

The students tackled the project as part of a community service project and ensured that the 30 children who attend the crèche can look forward to coming to a safe healthy environment every day.

According to Riaan Calitz, they started the project at the beginning of the year by doing a needs analysis and talking to the children’s parents and teachers. They also involved the aid of an architect and quantity surveyor to calculate the needs of the crèche.

Next, they had to search for sponsors for their work, and struck it lucky when the Windmill Casino agreed to donate R100 000 to their project. They also managed to raise a further R5 000 as well as approximately R50 000 in goods and services donated by various other companies.

This money was enough to improve the safety at the crèche, install safe gas equipment in the kitchen, improve the insulation to ensure a warm winter, install new playground equipment and host several health and safety workshops.

“It took a lot of late nights and early mornings,” Calitz said. “Some of us also had to return from our holiday early, but it was worth it.”

He says the gratitude from the school’s children and teachers, as well as community members, who would stop and thank them for their help while they were busy working, makes it all worthwhile.

The students plan to stay involved with the crèche and say the renovation plan was drafted in such a way that when they move along, another group can simply pick up from their work with ease.

Mrs Sarah Mothoana, the crèche matron, thanked the students as well as everyone who assisted them in “creating a wonderful, safe and healthy environment for the children.”
 

 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept