What is being done to tackle campus issues
IN A question and answer session, Nelson Mandela University spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela explained what was being done to tighten up security
Q: Following the October 2 attack, the university said it would up the number of security guards. Has this happened and by how many guards?
A: Security has been enhanced by way of added focus on identification at access points, on grounds and inside buildings, where at any stage security can approach and request identification.
The increase in numbers is subject to added proactive patrols being provided to all our campuses by armed response vehicles.
Added to this, weekly site visits are conducted by senior supervisory staff to ensure compliance and consistent service delivery.
Q: Has the joint task team been set up?
A: The safety and security task team was set up and met within the week of the incident. The task team has held several meetings since.
Some of the work that has been done includes:
ý Entering into a partnership with public security institutions – SAPS and Metro Police – as part of improving security. This partnership will be limited to them assisting with patrols at off-campus surrounds and student accommodation. Improving CCTV camera coverage – hindrance to visibility of cameras by shrubbery has been addressed and additional cameras ordered.
ý On-campus green routes have been identified for improved security monitoring. Additional security personnel have been deployed to the identified routes.
ý Enlisting the services of a private security company to assist with armed response and patrols as a way to assist with and enhance the work of campus security personnel.
ý Sharing information with local security agencies to monitor crime around the area, through the Summerstrand Community Crime Forum.
ý ICT has opened up the university’s WiFi network to allow for WhatsApp voice calling which will go a long way in assisting with reporting or alerting security to possible crimes. The department is also exploring a range of digital solutions towards improved safety, including a proposal to install panic buttons in identified hotspot areas and emergency web-based
applications that would meet direct needs of the university stakeholders.
ý Shuttle routes have been reviewed to cover a wider area where students are to be dropped off closer to their destinations.
Q: Particular mention was made of ensuring security on the Second Avenue campus but this is where our team often saw no security. How does the university explain this lax security?
A: The university concedes to weaknesses in effective access control across its campus entrances and, through the work of the task team, is devising plans to adequately control entry points.
One of the concerns raised by students, who form a critical part of the safety and security task team, was that the university was an open campus and needed to be converted to a closed campus.
This is one of the longer-term solutions that the task team is working to address.
Q: Has the audit of lighting been completed?
A: An audit of the lighting across all campuses was conducted with the intention of repairing any malfunctioning lighting as well as addressing potential dark spots.
Lights that were not working have been replaced and/or fixed and additional lighting is being put in place where needed.