Working paper number: 470
Author: Nicoli Nattrass, Noelene le Cordier, Kayleigh Cornish, Danielle du Plooy, Fritha Langerman, Reggie Mayman, Harro von Blottnitz, Justin O’Riain, Shahir Singh, Zoe Woodgate.
Unit: SSU


The Khusela Ikamva initiative at the University of Cape Town (UCT) seeks to make the campus more sustainable, and to do this through collaborative research and engagement with contractors, students, and academic staff. This paper reports on activities aimed at improving waste management and recycling (to improve UCT’s contribution to the circular economy) and to introduce integrated pest management (IPM) so as to reduce the need for rodenticides and other pest control measures harmful to wildlife. In 2022 the Khusela Ikamva initiative sought to raise awareness on campus about the need for recycling, to monitor recycling behaviour, to study biodiversity on and around the campus, and to engage with managers and contractors to promote IPM. We found some improvement in recycling behaviour, but UCT’s contribution to the circular economy was undermined by poor management of waste once it left the bins and when it was collected by contractors. A survey by students of biodiversity revealed that there was a rich diversity of wildlife on campus and also predators that could potentially be exposed to secondary poisoning from rodenticides. Unfortunately, despite aiming to improve IPM, UCT once again failed to change its pest control contracts to facilitate IPM. UCT’s failings on waste management and IPM are unacceptable given its situation on the urban edge of Table Mountain.

Publication file: Nattrass.PDF