Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

South African citizens are yearning for a good story to tell
2014-03-13

 
Dr Sethulego Matebesi
Photo: Sonia Small

The 20 Year Review is in essence a continuation of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address and the ‘we have a good story to tell’ narrative. The report provides a glowing picture of successes achieved over the two decades. The successes highlighted include the basic human rights enjoyed by South Africans, a marked improvement in economic growth, and the provision of social services such as health care, education and housing. And as expected, the Review is dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

The major accomplishments were made through the strategic policies of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). For example, emphasis has been on improving the lives of South Africans through pro-poor economic interventions, in building social cohesion, investing in economic infrastructure, fighting HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis, which resulted in improved health outcomes.

Generally, the assertions about ‘accomplishments’ have been made against solid evidence and are thus not debatable. What overshadows the 20 Year Review, is the story that is not being told. This is the story of a political economy marred by rampant corruption, high levels of unemployment, declining accountability, and unresponsiveness. This untold story has become the hallmark of President Zuma’s tenure. Meanwhile, the average South African citizen is still yearning for ‘a good story to tell.’

For more political comment or to speak to Dr Matebesi, please call René-Jean van der Berg at +27(0)83 645 5940.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept