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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

Two new buildings for Health
2012-03-06

 

The James Moroka building and the Muller Potgieter building of the Faculty of Health Sciences were officially taken into use in February this year. Present at the ceremony was from left Prof. Gert van Zyl, the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Mr Benjamin Moroka, son of Dr James Moroka, and Mrs Mari Potgieter, wife of Dr Muller Potgieter. 
Photo: René-Jean van der Berg
06 March 2012

The university of the Free State boasts two new modern buildings on the Bloemfontein Campus that were erected specially for the Faculty of Health Sciences. 

The James Moroka building and the Muller Potgieter building were officially taken into use recently. Family members of Dr Moroka and Dr Potgieter were present and unveiled the cornerstone.

The Faculty of Health Sciences experienced a growing shortage of office space and lecture halls on campus. To address the situation, the grounds of the old vehicle pool were used to construct the buildings. Its prime location – opposite the faculty’s existing building – was a bonus.

The National Department of Higher Education and other interested parties worked together to construct the buildings in as short a time as possible. The buildings have been in use since the beginning of the year.
 

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