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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

Roelf Meyer – Inaugural Recipient of the UFS Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award
2015-08-17

The University of the Free State is pleased to announce that Roelf Meyer is the inaugural recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

A lawyer by profession, Roelf Meyer’s contributions to the human interests of South Africa are immeasurable. Advocate Meyer’s current work in business and consultancy on peace processes around the globe benefits from his historic role as chief negotiator for the National Party (NP) alongside Cyril Ramaphosa, chief negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC).

Meyer will receive the award from the university on 29 August 2015 at the first annual Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Awards Luncheon.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award initiates a tradition at the University of the Free State that will honour excellent alumni who model superior academic and/or human achievement. Selected recipients embody the spirit of a transformed, inclusive society, and the modernised intent of the University of the Free State.The guest speaker will be Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Executive Director of Inyathelo, and a renowned politician.

The Luncheon will be held on Saturday, 29 August 2015 at 12h00 in the Reitz Hall of the Centenary Complex on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. Entrance to all events is free of charge.
For concert tickets, please contact Institutional Advancement at 051 401 3966/9343 or alumni@ufs.ac.za.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and Luncheon are anchor initiatives for Reunion Weekend 2015, which takes place on 28-29 August. Please visit the alumni web site for additional information about the weekend’s activities.

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