The campus safety and security summit took place at the University of the Western Cape campus from the 10th to the 14th July 2017 and featured discussion on #FeesMustFall, rape culture on campus, insourcing and out sourcing and to a large extent the role of security on campuses.
Attendees included Professor Nkulibe who kicked off the proceedings with a brief prayer and an introduction to some of the core discussion points which included the views and experiences of the attending delegates towards gender based violence on campus, an open forum on insourcing vs. outsourcing for campus security staff, and attending security company’s views and experiences of #FeesMustFall.
The summit was opened by spotlighting the key areas of impact South Africa is facing including the recession, the changing economic climate and job scarcity and how these issues overall impact safety and security on campuses. Much of the discussion point was around the role of campus security and other security personnel and their role in creating a safe campus. Along this was the final discussion which was what the role of campus security is. Agreed at the conference was that the safety of students and staff is the primary mandate of security personnel at every campus and that private security should always be a last resort as a safety precaution on any campus.
Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority Head, Mr Manabala Chauke, spoke of a legitimate need for regulation with regard to security, particularly on campuses. Mr Chauke spoke of the role of security to identify a possible conflict before it arises and to diffuse it before it escalates to violence. Alongside this, he spoke of a positive role and relation to eliminating violence on campuses, particularly in relation to #FeesMustFall.
There were various notable parties of importance presented including SRC Chairperson’s from various institutions including CPUT, UWC, CPUT, Northlink and TVET Colleges. Their stance was that students are not made aware of the role that varying security companies (insourced, outsourced and private) have to play towards creating a safe campus.
Many of the chairpersons expressed their objective of allowing for students to be represented in all campus activities. They expressed their views that they could not confirm nor deny any #FeesMustFall activity but felt that much of the dissent that arises out of #FeesMustfall stems back to a lack of access to resources among students.
The chairpersons agreed that should students be able to access quality school resources and funding towards their education #FeesMustFall would not have to amount to the protest action it amounts to.
The Campus safety and security conference was an overall success and represented the gatekeepers towards change and progress in the arena of campus safety.
(This article was freelanced by Thoko Miya for the student times. Contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org