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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

UFS presents unique rally
2006-05-11

On Friday 9 June 2006 the University of the Free State (UFS) will present the second Amazing Race Rally in Bloemfontein. 

The rally is presented in aid of children and babies with serious diseases in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health in the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences.  These children are in need of intensive care, and suffer from cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and conditions, endocrinological diseases or gastro-enterological conditions.

By raising the necessary funds, equipment can be acquired to meet the unique healthcare needs of these children and babies and it will also enable the UFS to maintain the high standards of education, training and research in this field.

Last year about 12 corporate teams from among others Vodacom, Medi-Clinic, Eskom, Mimosa Mall and Nedbank and four teams from the UFS competed in the rally.  The Medi-Clinic team was the winner.

This year the teams will again follow a specific route with various check points by car.  Here they will have to complete activities or solve clues before receiving their clue to the next checkpoint.  The teams will be travelling with cars branded with the logo of the company they represent.

Companies and institutions in Bloemfontein can enter in the rally by means of sponsoring a check point, entering a team of two persons or sponsoring some aspects of the day. 

The rally will give participants an opportunity to test their knowledge of the city, as well as their time management skills, communication skills, team work and even their relationships! 

The programme will start at 12:00 on the UFS Main Campus and the first team to complete this task is the winner of Bloemfontein’s second Amazing Rainbow Rally.

Extensive publicity of the event on OFM in the weeks running up to the day will ensure that participants are easily recognised and will create a measure of excitement.

Enquiries about the rally can be directed to Ms Adéle van Aswegen at (051) 401-3535 or Ms Ilse Olivier at (051) 401-2415.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:  (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
11 May 2006

 

 

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