Risk management measures are vital to prevent GBV incidents at universities

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
15 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP. See photos here, here and here.

Today the DA conducted an unannounced oversight visit to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) accredited student accommodation residence, South Point The Orchard, to observe their safety and security and risk mitigation measures in order to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) incidents at the residence. This is the residence where the CPUT student was stabbed by a student from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

As a Member of Parliament, I was prevented from doing my oversight role at the residence. We were met by security who ushered us to residence management. Unfortunately, after communicating with CPUT, they were instructed to prevent the oversight.

Before we were prevented from doing oversight, we saw that the security measures consisted of a Clearview fenced gate and a security office to enter. However, some of the buildings did not have security gates. We were also not asked for identification before being escorted to management.

It is evident that security measures could be enhanced with simple things such as adequate identification checks and sign-in measures. Considering that this residence is surrounded by new housing developments and close to the Unibell train station, safety measures must take centre stage.

The questions remain:

  • how did the UWC student gain access to the premises with a knife;
  • how long did it take for security to arrive at the scene;
  • have the family members of the victim and the perpetrator, as well as the students who witnessed the incident been offered counselling; and
  • what risk mitigation measures have been implemented to curb GBV incidents at student accommodation residences?

CPUT opted not to respond to these questions from the DA.

The DA will write to the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, to request that he informs all institutions on higher education on Members of Parliament’s oversight roles.

Safety and security measures are the cornerstone at institutions of higher learning to protect students and academia from any form of violence.

We commend the students who rescued and assisted the victim.

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