Working paper number: 469
Author: Nicoli Nattrass
Unit: CSSR


The University of Cape Town (UCT) has long been committed to ‘Integrated Pest Management’ (IPM) yet has struggled to implement this. IPM prioritizes prevention over poisoning yet persistent collective action failures within the university – especially over the poor management of waste – and between pest control companies and university managers, have made this difficult to achieve in practice. This paper focusses on the challenge of managing pest rodents at UCT. It provides a brief history and reports on early efforts through the ‘Khusela Ikamva Sustainable Campus’ initiative to reduce the use of, and need for, rodenticides. This action research suggests that ecological considerations are important in developing pest control protocols (especially given that UCT’s upper campus is within a national park) and that adaptive management can assist with institutional learning. Even so, there is a clear need for more widespread engagement with all stakeholders at UCT to achieve IPM in practice.

Publication file: Nattrass