Change the world


A meeting between the Central Student Representative Council (CSRC), EFF Student Command and members of University Management was constituted after the receipt of the memorandum of demands from the EFFSC as submitted on 26 August 2019. 

The essence of the memorandum was centred on two issues, which are summarised below as follows:

  • Safety issues on and off campus; and
  • Treatment in the Off-Campus Housing Office (OCHO).

The below provides feedback to the university community on the response of the university on the two issues raised above.

Safety issues on and off campus

The students further requested a programme of action to deal with the safety and security of students. The University explained to students that a safety and security strategy and a roll-out plan are in place. Students were reminded of the detailed updates published on memo last month and, more recently, at the weekend on the implementation of the strategy.

The memos outlined a number of improvements as part of the University’s safety and security strategy that have been in implementation since 2018, which include:

  • New fencing and infrastructure improvements at various campuses.
  • The introduction of a safe walking Green Route on South Campus, supported by additional surveillance cameras. The university has increased the number of CCTV cameras and now has over 1000 cameras in the security network, including several with Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) capability cameras at campus entrances. 
  • The introduction of access verification for motorists using staff and student cards. 
  • Silent panic alarms in all 180 computer labs.
  • Wall alarms in the 24-hour labs.
  • A new self-service boom on South Campus which staff and students are encouraged to use.
  • The introduction of Instacom communication for Protection Services staff, which monitors the planned patrol patterns, and
  • The introduction of rapid response security teams.
  • The introduction of a biometric entry system for the University’s student residences in Port Elizabeth
  • The introduction of the Operation, Monitoring, Analysis and Response Rooms (OMARR) (formerly known as the control rooms) viewing stations on each campus, and infrastructure and technology upgrades of the main OMARR centres on North and George campuses. This enabled the recent detection of a break-in to one of the larger computer labs on Missionvale Campus, leading to the successful arrests of the perpetrators
  • The extension of University WI-FI to accredited off-campus residences to enable students to access online study material from their respective residences
  • Strategic collaborations with local law enforcement agencies, communities and private security firms around the city in efforts to curb criminal activity. These collaborations have been effective in ensuring that some of the perpetrators of crime are identified, pursued and apprehended.

With each intervention, Protection Services staff have received training to consistently develop their own skill set.  This is inclusive of technology training on which much of the safety plan is reliant.

The following additional explanations were made:

Students were also requested to take charge of their own visitors from outside the University as some of the perpetrators of petty crimes (theft etc) have often been identified as visitors brought in by students.

Treatment at Off-campus Housing Office (OCHO)

The students complained about a staff member from OCHO and were advised to substantiate their grievance and submit to the Director Student Housing for consideration in line with University policy.

The University remains committed to engagement and is open to contributions from all stakeholders. 

The University remains committed to continue its implementation of the comprehensive Safety and Security Strategy. It reaffirms its commitment to build and strengthen existing partnerships with all relevant law enforcement agencies and communities in the fight against crime. 

In strengthening our crime fighting initiatives, the University will deploy additional security to cover some newly identified vulnerable areas on our campuses. Where challenges are encountered, the student body should contact the Student Representative Council (SRC) in order to reinforce the identified gaps.

Work continues towards keeping abreast with the ever-changing criminal tactics, readying ourselves to effectively and efficiently respond. This, in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, including the student body.

Management Team

26 August 2019


Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777