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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

Prof Jonathan Jansen’s term extended for a further five years
2014-03-19

During its first meeting of the year, held on Friday 14 March 2014 on the Bloemfontein Campus, the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) decided to appoint Prof Jonathan Jansen for a further term as Vice-Chancellor and Rector.

Prof Jansen was appointed in this position on 1 July 2009. His term will be extended for a further five years on 1 July 2014.

“Prof Jansen’s vision for the future of the UFS is in line with that of Council. He led the university successfully through a challenging time and his ability to bring people from different backgrounds together has made a huge difference in how the institution is perceived nationally and internationally. We are thankful that his services could be maintained for a further term and look forward to working with him,” said Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the Council.

Prof Jansen said that he is honoured and humbled to be granted a second term. “I will work even harder to advance academic excellence and deepen human relations at this great institution," he said.

The term of the Vice-Chairperson of the Council, Mr Edward Kieswetter, was also extended for another three years during the meeting. Mr Kieswetter, Group Chief Executive of Alexander Forbes Equity Holdings (Pty) Ltd, has been a member of the Council since November 2004. This will be his third term as Vice-Chairperson.

Issued by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27(0)51 401 2584 or +27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 (0) 51 444 6393

 

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