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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

Most read articles in international journal authored by UFS academics
2011-10-06

 

Prof. James du Preez, Senior Professor and Head of the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, and Prof. Lodewyk Kock, Outstanding Professor in the same department.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

FEMS Yeast Research, the top international journal in this field of research, recently announced their three "most read articles" of 2011, based on the number of downloads from their website. Of these three published papers, two are from the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology at the University of the Free State (UFS). They are:

The article with the title, The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae – the main character in beer brewing, was authored by Prof. Bettie Lodolo and Mr Martin Brooks (Brewing Consultant and Chief Brewer of the SAB Ltd. Brewing Centre of Excellence in Alrode, Johannesburg, respectively), Prof. Lodewyk Kock (Outstanding Professor in the UFS Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology) and Prof. Barry Axcell (Global Chief Brewer, SABMiller, Sandton). Prof. Lodolo is also an Affiliated Professor in the UFS’s Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology,

The authors of the second paper entitled The alcohol dehydrogenases of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a comprehensive review, are Dr Olga de Smidt (Researcher at the Central University of Technology and a former Ph.D. student of the UFS Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology); Prof. Koos Albertyn from the above department, and Prof. James du Preez Senior Professor and Head of this department.

The article by Lodolo et al. was also listed as one of the three most cited articles of 2010 published in this journal.

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