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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 Marais awarded the first UFS Book Prize for Distinguished Scholarship
2015-03-19

Prof Kobus Marais

Prof Kobus Marais, from the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice, was recently awarded the UFS Book Prize for Distinguished Scholarship for 2014.

The prize, awarded for its first time in 2014, consists of an inscribed certificate of honour with a monetary award of R50 000 paid into Marais’s research entity. The book for which Marais received this award is Translation Theory and Development Studies: A Complex Theory Approach (2014, Routledge, New York).

“It falls within the discipline of translation studies, but it is actually an interdisciplinary approach, linking translation studies and development studies,” says Marais.

Therefore, it aims to provide a philosophical underpinning to translation, and relate translation to development.

“The second aim flows from the first section’s argument that societies emerge out of, amongst others, complex translational interactions amongst individuals,” Marais says. “It will do so by conceptualising translation from a complexity and emergence point of view, and by relating this view on emergent semiotics to some of the most recent social research.”

It fulfils its aim further by providing empirical data from the South African context concerning the relationship between translation and development. The book intends to be interdisciplinary in nature, and to foster interdisciplinary research and dialogue by relating the newest trends in translation theory, i.e. agency theory in the sociology of translation, to development theory within sociology. 

“Data are drawn from fields that have received very little if any attention in translation studies, i.e. local economic development, the knowledge economy, and the informal economy, says Marais.”

The UFS Book Prize for Distinguished Scholarship was initiated in 2014 to bestow recognition on any permanent staff member of the UFS for outstanding publications which consist of research published as an original book, on the condition that the greater part (50% or more) of the book has not been published previously. This stimulates the production of significant and original contributions of international quality by our staff. In this way, the UFS is striving, through a series of award-winning books, to enhance the quality of specialised works published by our staff members.

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