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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

University gearing up for Varsity Hockey Series
2013-05-09

09 May 2013

Our university will play host to the University of Pretoria (Tukkies), the Northwest University (Pukke) and the University of the Witwatersrand in the Varsity Hockey series. 

All matches will take place from Saturday to Monday at 14:30 and 16:00. 

The programme is as follow:

Saturday 11 May 2013

14:30 – NWU PUKKE vs Wits
16:00 – UP Tukkies vs UFS Kovsies

Sunday 12 May 2013

14:30 – NWU PUKKE vs UFS Kovsies
16:00 – Wits vs UP Tukkies

Monday 13 May 2013

14:30 – NWU PUKKE vs UP Tukkies
16:00 – UFS Kovsies vs Wits

The NWU PUKKE is currently the front runner with 14 points already on the log. PUKKE should also be the toughest team to beat this weekend, with the inclusion of two Protea players in their side. Sulette Damons and Celia Evans will be part of the Northwest’s attempts to stay at the top.

Kovsies and UP Tukkies will also boast with Proteas. Izelle Lategan and Tanya Brits will strengthen Kovsies’ team, while Lilian du Plessis is part of the Tukkies team. Both our university and Tukkies have 10 points after the first three matches played in Potchefstroom.

 

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