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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

PwC invests in student potential at UFS
2017-02-28

Description:PwC invests in student potential  Tags: PwC invests in student potential  longdesc=

From the left are: Cassius Coetzee, Marketing
Manager at PwC, Mbalentle Mdange and
Clementine Molaeng, both accounting students
at the UFS, and Belinda Janeke from the Career
Development Office at the UFS.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

Corporate Bloemfontein has made it its mission to invest in the potential of students, which is exactly what PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) set out to do with its competition for accounting students.

PwC to join UFS Career Fair in 2017

The Career Development Office at the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with PwC, held a competition in which students had the opportunity to win book vouchers.

Cassius Coetzee, marketing manager at PwC, did the handover at the UFS which saw Mbalentle Mdange and Clementine Molaeng each walk away with book vouchers to the value of R1500, as well as goodie bags from the Career Development Office.

Belinda Janeke from the Career Development Office said it was always a pleasure working with the PwC team and said they would be joining the UFS Career Fair later this year.

Corporate companies and the community

Vicky Simpson, from the Department of Institutional Advancement, said there were businesses and organisations that believed in making a difference in the lives of students. “We commend each of them for their passion and enthusiasm. Collaboration is the key to the success of our community. People matter to us and even more so, the important role we play within our community.”

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