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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

Launch of the Africa office of the IIDE
2006-05-25

Attending the launch of the Africa office of the IIDE were from the left Prof Sytse Strijbos (Chairperson of IIDE Europe), Rev Kiepie Jaftha (Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS) and Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS).

 

Attending the launch were from the left Prof Lucius Botes (Director: Centre of Development Support at the UFS), Dr Samuel Kareithi (Head: Community Development at the Cornerstone Christian College, Cape Town), Rev Kiepie Jaftha (Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS), Prof Sytse Strijbos (Chairperson of IIDE Europe) and Dr Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector:  Student Affairs at the UFS).

Africa office of IIDE launched on UFS main campus 

The Africa office of the International Institute for Development and Ethics (IIDE) was today (26 May 2006) launched on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

“The IIDE specialises in the studying and research of general questions of developmental theory and practices and provides services and support in education, strategic planning, policy formulation, advocacy and capacity building of development agencies,” said Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS.

According to Rev Jaftha the IIDE in Africa will focus on the conceptual and normative aspects of developmental processes in Sub-Saharan Africa.  “We want to foster local and international partnerships with various relevant role-players in civil society, the private sector and public sector in the SACD region and later expand our operations to the rest of Africa,” said Rev Jaftha.

The IIDE in Africa cooperates with a similar foundation in Europe, functioning as the IIDE Europe.  This institute was founded in 2003 and its head office is situated in the Netherlands.  The UFS is a funder of the IIDE in Africa together with the Paul Foundation and private sponsors from the Netherlands.

“We have already started with various projects which are in various stages of implementation,” said Rev Jaftha.  Some of these projects include, among others, the broadening of the master’s degree in Christian Studies of Science and Society (MACSSS) which is currently housed at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam to tertiary institutions in South Africa such as the UFS, the University of Stellenbosch and the Potchefstroom Campus of the Northwest University.

“Another project is an investigation into the possibility of initiating a broad development initiative in the poverty stricken Qwaqwa area.  This initiative will attempt to concentrate on issues like the training and empowerment of prospective entrepreneurs in the region, the identification of prospective entrepreneurs for the rendering of development support and the monitoring of the impact of information and communication technology on local communities during the implementation of sustainable development initiatives,” said Rev Jaftha.

“The establishment of the Africa office of the IIDE on the UFS Main Campus is an indication of one of the aims of the UFS to play a role in South Africa and Africa.  It also signifies our aim to contribute meaningfully to research and development and to establish links between the academe and practice,” said Rev Jaftha. 

 

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

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