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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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NRF Renewals: 2005
2004-09-21

Renewal applications for Masters and Doctoral scholarships for 2005 are due now. Students who were awarded NRF Prestigious/Equity Masters and Doctoral scholarships, DoL/NRF Masters and Doctoral scholarships as well as the NLC/NRF Masters and Doctoral scholarships for support in 2004 are eligible to apply for the renewal of their scholarships for 2005, if the criteria for progress have been met. The NRF will not send individual letters to students reminding them to renew their scholarships. No incomplete or late applications will be considered. Scholarship holders must explicitly request renewal of their scholarships by submitting an application for the renewal of the scholarship on the relevant form. University’s internal closing date: 22 October 2004 at 15:30.

NRF closing date: 31 October 2004. Application forms must be handed in on or before the internal closing date at the George du Toit Administration Building, Room 155 (Mr Maleka, x9263).

Application forms can be downloaded from http://www.nrf.ac.za/students.php. Application forms for the renewal of DoL/NRF scholarships for people with disabilities will be made available on the website in due course.

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