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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

Music programme receives a boost
2004-08-20

 

 

Back standing fltr: Mr Peter Guy - Founder and coordinator: Mangaung String Program and snr lecturer at the Musicon; Mrs Francine Duvenage, Manager: Human Resources, Wesbank. Middle fltr: Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS; Mr Apie Otto, Area Manager: Vehicles, Wesbank Free State and Northern Cape. Front fltr: Mr John Minaar (17), Gr 12 Sand du Plessis Secondary School; Repiloe Olifant (14) Gr 10 Navalsig Secondary School; Moeketsi Khang (16) Gr 11 Tsoseletso Secondary School; Stella Benbooi (12) Gr 7 Bochabela Primary School.

The Mangaung String Programme, a partnership between the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Free State Musicon, an institution that falls under the auspices of the Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, has recently received heartened encouragement when an amount of R342 000,00 was granted to the programme by the Wesbank/First Rand Foundation for the purchasing of a bus.

“Transporting the children who are part of the programme back and forth for tuition and rehearsals has been a major problem as most of them stay in the townships on the outskirts of Bloemfontein ,” said Mr Peter Guy, founder and coordinator of the programme.

“The bus will ensure that those children who have the passion, dedication and commitment can spend every afternoon if they so choose practicing, learning about music and rehearsing with children from all over Bloemfontein,” said Mr Guy.

Mr Guy, a Senior Lecturer at the Musicon, started the programme in 1998 with funding from the Musicon Parents Teachers Association, initially with 15 pupils - today 150 children participate in the programme. In 2002 the UFS formed a partnership with the Free State Musicon in the provisioning of facilities, tuition and musical instruments. “Since the involvement of the UFS, the programme has almost tripled in size and one

fulltime teaching position is now jointly funded by both institutions,” said Mr Guy.

According to Mr Guy the Free State Symphony Orchestra has committed itself to providing opportunities for gifted young players from all backgrounds to perform, develop their talents and to grow musically. Some of the children of the Mangaung String Programme will soon be joining the Free State Symphony Concert in concerts.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
19 August 2004
 

 

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