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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

A time to celebrate: Autumn graduations
2016-04-07

General graduation information 
Livestreaming

The first series of graduations for the year are upon us. Graduates from all seven faculties, the Business School, and the School of Open Learning at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be celebrating their academic achievements. A total of 3681 qualifications will be conferred at ceremonies on the Bloemfontein Campus from 12 to 15 April 2016.

Sejakhumo Makhetha, daughter of our Vice-Rector: Student Affairs and External Relations, Dr Choice Makhetha, will be among the graduates receiving BA Governance and Political Transformation degrees. Coincidently, Dr Makhetha obtained her PhD in Political Science in 2003 at the UFS. Sejakhumo Makhetha is currently busy with her postgraduate diploma in the same field.

The four-day celebration symbolises the UFS prerogative as an institution to transform lives by producing leaders of tomorrow. Dr Muavia Gallie, Dr Sello Hatang, Dawie Roodt, and Nikiwe Bikitsha are expected to address these future leaders and guests at these ceremonies.

Addressed by the best

On the guest speaker line-up, we have Dr Gallie, a School and District Turnaround Strategist and education activist, who has been identified as one of the 10 Most Impressive Public Leaders for 2015 by the UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen. The former Head of Operations, Human Resources and Information and Communication Technology at the South African Council for Educators (SACE) has had more than 30 years of experience in education.

Dr Gallie and Dr Hatang will address graduates of the Faculties of Education, Health Sciences, Law, and Theology on 12 April 2016. Dr Hatang is the Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. In addition to being a founding member of the Advisory Council of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, Hatang has had the privilege of serving as the Head of Information Communications, and spokesperson for the South African Human Rights Commission as well as Director: South African History Archive at Wits University.

Dawie Roodt, founder, director, and chief economist of the Efficient Group, will speak at the Faculty of Economic and Management Science ceremony on 14 April 2016. This nationally-renowned economist boasts 30 years of experience in monetary and fiscal policy, and is one of the most referenced authors. In 2013, he published Tax, Lies and Red Tape.

As one of South Africa’s leading journalists, Nikiwe Bikitsha will draw on her 20-year career in radio, television, and journalism to address the Faculty of the Humanities graduates on the final day of graduations. Through her passion for Africa’s economic development and women empowerment, the co-founder and CEO of Amargi Media has been a successful Programme Director for UN, IMF and AU-related events.

 

Details of event

Dates: 12, 13, 14, 15 April 2016

Times: 09:00 and 14:30

Venue: Callie Human Centre, Bloemfontein Campus, University of the Free State

 

 

 

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