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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

Travel 120 million light years this July holiday
2014-07-07

The first digital planetarium in sub-Saharan Africa – situated on Naval Hill, right here in Bloemfontein – opened on 1 November 2013. The University of the Free State (UFS) is managing this facility.

In view of the July holiday, special family programmes will be hosted on Friday night, 11 July 2014. The programme includes the following shows:

Nanocam
Nanocam (you shrink down to the size of an insect and fly through the eye of a needle) is a microscopic joyride into the five kingdoms of living organisms. The show offers a compelling, educational and funny approach to life that has never been seen like this before.

Fragile Planet
Fragile Planet offers a journey of 120 million light years to rediscover our home. The audience experiences an astronaut’s view of the earth, highlighting earth’s unique regions.

The pre-produced programmes are all in English, but the live presentation and tour through the universe will be alternately in Afrikaans or English.

Tariffs
Adults: R50
Learners, students and pensioners: R30

Buy tickets at
- The planetarium before shows;
- Computicket (at all Checkers, Shoprite, House and Home and Checkers Hyper shops);
Computicket’s enquiry centre (08619158000), or
- Online at www.online.computicket.com (look for ‘planetarium’), for mobile devices go to www.computicket.mobi (look for ‘planetarium’).

For any enquiries, you are welcome to contact Yolandie Loots at FickY@ufs.ac.za or on +27(0)51 401 9751.





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