Sol Plaatje University Management Responds to Safety Concerns
The safety of our students is of paramount importance; to this end we introduced green routes to create a safe environment for our students as they navigate their way between academic and administrative buildings, sporting facilities and the various student residences.
The green route was initially established for the route between Tauana (Birbeck Road) and Central Campus for those students who were taking their supper at Central Campus. The concept was kept in place even though they are now taking meals in the Tauana canteen. It requires relatively low numbers of extra officers due to line-of-sight monitoring.
Our security also conducts vehicle patrols on the route to Mhudi (off Du Toitspan) and Ra-Thaga (off Edward Street), but deploying larger numbers of officers to patrol public streets is simply not affordable at this point.
The University lies within the heart of Kimberley so our buildings are not located to one defined area or campus. Our campuses are spread across the inner city and integrated into the fabric of that area. We will therefore engage with SAPS and the municipality about arrangements for securing the public areas surrounding the University.
With the increase in students in private accommodation we are looking at smart ways of expanding security visibility around the South Campus, Central Campus and the Ra-Thaga / Mhudi areas without exponentially increasing costs. One such initiative is the “walking buses” where students arrange to meet in groups at a designated time and walk to their common destination when they can be accompanied by a security officer.
So far, we have only a very few incidents of muggings reported to us so this makes it very difficult to formulate a strategy to improve safety in specific areas. We encourage our students to reports all incidents to us so that we can make assessments and also hold discussions in our community policing forums with SAPS.
Issued by Sol Plaatje University