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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

UFS acknowledge 53 for long service
2004-11-03

Long service awards for 35 years: Mrs. Christa du Plessis, Centre for Higher Education studies and Development, mnr. John Moorosi, Soil- and Crop- and Climate Sciences , prof. Frederick Fourie, rector, prof. Jopie Botha, Institute for Groundwater Studies, me. Susan Reineke, Plant Sciences, Dr. Sarie van Vuuren of Sociology and me. Aletta de Klerk, Kovsie Sport.

Fifty three personnel members received long service awards in the centenary year of the university for respectively 35 years of service and 25 years of service.

Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector, said to the recipients of the long service awards: “In a year in which the writing of history of the UFS took a prominent place in the Centenary celebrations and in which one relived the past hundred years, the value we add to the university on a daily basis is clearly visible. Many personnel members contributed to make the UFS a valued institution and will proceed to do that in the spirit of 100+.”

He thanked and acknowledged personnel for the plus they add to each day’s work. “The students which enter the UFS each year, want to thank you for an university which on an innovative manner impacted their lives. “You helped to create the building blocks for their future,” he said.

Prof. J. F. Botha, Mr M.G. Botha, Ms A. De Klerk, Mr M.J. Doman, Prof. H.C. Janse van Rensburg and Ms S.M.C. Reinecke received awards for 35 years of service.

For 25 years of service at the university Prof. S.L. Barnard, Mr B. Botma, Dr H. J. Breytenbach, Dr M.W. Brussow, Mr N.L. Combrink, Ms A.J. Du Plessis, Ms C. Du Plessis, Prof. L. Goedhals, Mr M.E. Hlazo, Prof. B.B. Hoek, Dr S.J.E. Janse van Vuuren, Mr M. Kgasane, Ms A. Kgosi, Dr W.P. Konig, Dr P.A.L. Le Roux, Prof. N.J. Luwes, Dr N. Luyt, Ms S.E. November, Ms M. Mabaso, Ms M.K. Maruping, Prof. J.D. Marx, Mr J.P. Masedi, Mr G. Mokapane, Mr J. Mokapane, Ms M.L. Molosi, Ms M.M. Molwagale, Mr P.J. Moorosi, Ms C. Moroagae, Ms E. Moroale, Mr G.G. Mothokwane, Prof. M. Mulder, Prof. A.C. Otto, Ms H. Pelser, Ms E. Pelzer, Ms M.M. Pheko, Prof. E. Pretorius, Ms M.P. Richter, Ms E. Rouls, Prof. M.T. Seaman, Prof. R.B. Snowdowne, Prof. J.P. Strauss, Ms M.S. Tsolo, Prof. H.J. van der Linde, Dr S. van Vuuren, Prof. J.B. van Wyk, Dr J.M. van Zyl, Prof. T. Verschoor and Ms M.H.S. York received an long service award.

“Be assured of my appreciation for your loyalty and commitment to a university which is taking careful steps into a new century of its existence. If we do the right things right and with a sincere belief in our heavenly Father we will be able to build on the solid foundation laid by people like you,” he said.

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