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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

“Breakthroughs depend on people believing in their own ideas”
2015-07-23


TED is a renowned international non-profit organisation dedicated to disseminating “ideas worth spreading” in the form compelling talks lasting up to 18 minutes.

Lerothodi Molete’s vision is to witness the youth of Bloemfontein emerge at the forefront of technological, scientific, and entrepreneurial innovations in both South Africa and the global arena.

 

Molete and Bonginkosi Leeuw are the organisers of TEDxUFS. Their duty is centered on inspiring people to believe in, and express, their ideas. These University of the Free State students have taken it upon themselves to inspire the youth to “push the boundaries of society.”

 

The second TEDxUFS event to be hosted by the university presents a unique opportunity for students, staff members, and the general public to mingle with influential speakers from across various disciplines.

 

Details of the event:

 

Date: Saturday 1 August 2015

Time: 08:00- 18:00

Venue: Albert Wessels Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus

 

The keynote speakers include: Mmusi Maimane (Federal Leader: Democratic Alliance), Gareth Cliff (Radio personality: Cliff Central), Pieter Geldenhuys (Futurist), Brian Kally (Director: Arrow Logistics), Jonathan Jansen (Vice-Chancellor and Rector: UFS), Ricardo Peach (Director: Vrystaat Arts Festival, Pamela Nomvete (Former actor and writer), Gil Oved (Founder: Creative Counsel), Pepe Marais (CEO: Joe Public), Angelo Mockie (Senior Officer: Student Affairs and musician), Philippa Tumubweinee (Senior Lecturer in Architecture: UFS), and Melody Mentz (Psychology Senior Professor: UFS).

 

The reason behind the #AskWhy theme

 

"Why is a small word but it’s a quick, broad, sharp and abrupt one,” explains Leeuw. “It is the chosen word of the non-conformist, the defiant, and the visionary. It is a confrontational word. It challenges what is thought to be impossible.”

 

The ability to interrogate reality is what society and economies are built on. The absence of the fear to question encourages the capacity to progress.

 

Motivating young people to follow their dreams is the reason why the TEDxUFS team is persistent in their endeavours. Molete believes that, in order to change anything, people need to ask why.

 

Background of the innovation powerhouse called TED(x)

 

TED is a renowned international non-profit organisation dedicated to disseminating “ideas worth spreading” in the form compelling talks lasting up to 18 minutes.

 

In 1984, it was introduced as a conference exploring Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Three decades later, TED covers a wide variety of topics of global significance, reflecting the contemporary era in more than 100 languages.

 

TEDx events are under the TED umbrella. These events are organised independently, and create a platform for deliberating on local matters. The programme assists communities, organisations, and individuals to stimulate critical dialogue.

 

On 25 July 2014, the UFS hosted its inaugural TEDxUFS conference at the Odeion theatre on the Bloemfontein Campus, where eleven speakers addressed an audience of 150 people on interdisciplinary topics ranging from economics to entrepreneurship, technology, art, design, and theology.

 

This year, 200 seats will be available for innovative revolutionary individuals in search of inspiration.

 

Tickets are available at 0619284253 / 079 381 4126. Prices: R80 (Student/scholars) and R350 (Public/staff)

 

LINKS:

Lerothodi Molete- http://whoswho.co.za/lerothodi-molete-742022

Bonginkosi Leeuw- https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/10499

TEDxUFS- http://kovsielife.ufs.ac.za/templates/archive.aspx?news=276

Mmusi Maimane- http://whoswho.co.za/mmusi-maimane-44612

Garett Cliff- http://www.garethcliff.com/

Pieter Geldenhuys- http://pietergeldenhuys.com/

Brian Kally- https://za.linkedin.com/pub/brian-kally/4b/888/959

Jonathan Jansen- http://www.ufs.ac.za/adhoc-pages/rectorate/prof-(jd)-jonathan-jansen

Ricardo Peach- http://ricardopeach.com/

Pamela Nomvete- http://whoswho.co.za/pamela-nomvete-4789

Gil Ovid- https://za.linkedin.com/pub/gil-oved/3/910/892

Pepe Marais- http://joepublic.co.za/people

Angelo Mockie- https://za.linkedin.com/pub/angelo-mockie/27/56/302

PhilippaTumubweinee- http://natagri.ufs.ac.za/templates/staffmember.aspx?DCode=101&pid=zyNJm7KI%2b1k%3d

Melody Mentz- https://za.linkedin.com/in/melodymentz

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