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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

Nomination process for portfolio of Bloemfontein Campus SRC President re-opened
2015-08-21

  

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) today made the decision to re-open the nomination process for the portfolio of President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) until Monday 24 August 2015 at 16:00.  

The decision to re-open the nomination for the portfolio of President was made after the incumbent SRC submitted a proposal to the IEC to re-open the nomination process for the upcoming SRC elections on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). 

The announcement of the SRC candidates on Monday 17 August 2015 revealed that only one nominee, Eddie de Wet, met the eligibility requirements for the portfolio of President.  In a letter to the IEC, Mr De Wet expressed his support for the nomination process to be re-opened in order to allow other candidates to campaign for this portfolio.  In the interest of democracy and student participation during the SRC elections, the IEC decided to re-open the nomination process for a given time.

Nomination forms are available at the duty room of Protection Services from Saturday 22 August 2015 at 09:00, or it can be downloaded from the following URL: http://kovsielife.ufs.ac.za/dl/Userfiles/Documents/00001/663_eng.pdf

Completed nomination forms must be handed in at the reception desk of the Student Centre on the Thakaneng Bridge between 09:00 and 16:00 on Monday 24 August 2015.

The SRC elections will take place on Monday 31 August and Tuesday 1 September 2015.

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