Latest News Archive

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

A journey into self-discovery
2011-08-17

Sandy Little

The launch of the film and book Africa meets Africa: Pathways through the Interior at our university was a huge success.

It forms part of the The Africa meets Africa Project that is known for making connections between knowledge systems in pursuit of learning. It integrates amongst others beadwork and weaving with mathematics.

The film takes one through the Free State and some parts of the Northern Cape. The two actors, Mr Lerato Mokhitli and Ms Sandy Little, are both art students at Kovsies. During the trip they reveal some historic events not known to all. Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, said: “Our history is a lot more complex and interesting than current texts allow. Much of what happened laid the foundations for trauma, and triumph is poorly understood. More so, is the history of the ordinary.”

The film and book are funded by National Heritage Council and FirstRand. It was launched in other provinces, among them KwaZulu-Natal. The Africa meets Africa Project aims to use the book in the Free State and Northern Cape in the Further Education and Training (FET) phase for educators and university students.

Prof. Jansen furthermore said: “I would definitely recommend the book with some additions, such as representation of excluded cultures. This would include white ethnographic histories and cultures and the intersections across black/white, African/European histories. I would also make the subject history compulsory to ensure that children would be exposed to our complex history.”

Ms Moipone Kabaoe, a third-year B.Soc.Sc. student at UFS, said: “The film was very informative and clarified some things. I also believe the actors have actually grown from the experience and they did a great job.”

Mrs Anna Mokhitli was ecstatic at the launch, as any proud mother would be. “I knew they were working so hard, but I never thought it would be something this big,” she said. Ms Helene Smuts, Director of Africa meets Africa, said: “You cannot learn until you start with what you know. This is the journey we took; now you must take your own.”
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept