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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

From cradle to career
2014-02-24

You have finally completed your studies and are ready to step into the world of work – and of course, earning big money. But what people forgot to tell you is how competitive it is out there. Hundreds of graduates are competing for a small number of jobs.

So, make sure you stand out from the pack!

Join Prof Jonathan Jansen for a discussion on Reducing Joblessness on Tuesday 25 February 2014, giving tips on how to secure a job for yourself. Students are also welcome to suggest solutions to joblessness after graduation.

Mark Mead, a motivational speaker and entrepreneur, will join Prof Jansen at this informative event. He will speak about opportunities available to graduates in South Africa, how to make a difference and prove your mettle. Mead is the founder of Cradle2Career, a commodity trader, the director of Tire World Exports, as well as a consultant for Africa to corporates.

The discussions are part of an exciting line-up planned by the UFS Career Development Office. These workshops are designed to assist students in bolstering their employability skills for today’s world of work.

Date: 25 February 2014
Time: 08:00–09:00: Reducing Joblessness by Prof Jonathan Jansen
09:00–10:00: Discussion by Mark Mead
Venue: EBW Auditorium (at Business School opposite the Wynand Mouton Theatre)

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