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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.


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Get your dual-frequency card
2015-07-28

 Staff members and students, who are the owners/drivers of motor vehicles, are kindly requested to purchase the dual-frequency cards that replace their current student or personnel cards.

The dual-frequency cards can be read by the distance readers at the entrance gates. Card holders will no longer have to swipe their cards or stop; the boom will open automatically and card holders will be able to drive through.

Please note that this arrangement only applies to valid card holders entering the campus – on leaving the campus, they will again have to swipe their cards past the card readers.

This improves the traffic flow and prevent possible delays at the gates.

Pay for your card

Electronic fund transfers: Absa Bank: 1 570 8500 71, Ref: 1 413 07670 0198, OR pay the R65 at the UFS Cashiers, Thakaneng Bridge. 

Take your existing personnel or student card, together with proof of payment, to the UFS Card Division, Bloemfontein Campus, Thakaneng Bridge, to have your photo taken and your new dual-frequency card issued.

The UFS Cashiers will provide assistance between 09:00 and 14:30, and the UFS Card Division between 09:00 and 15:00.

Your new card

Permission to access specific UFS buildings or facilities linked to your existing card, will automatically be linked to the new card.

The new card is marked ‘dual’ on the back in the right, bottom corner.

The UFS would like to thank you for your cooperation in the successful implementation of access control on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

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