Change the world


The Kaaimans-to-Touw (KTT) Eco Restoration Forum in collaboration with NMMU’s Sustainability Research Unit (SRU), George Municipality, SANPARKS and Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) will be hosting a Community Hacking Day on the 1st October 2015, between 08:30 and 14:00.

The programme, aimed at getting rid of invasive weeds in the George Municipal Servitude along Whites Rd in Wilderness Heights, offers an excellent opportunity for everyone caring about the land and its resources to jointly tackle this growing problem.  

Located in the George Municipal Servitude along Whites Rd in Wilderness Heights, it will also serve as a demonstration and learning site for invasive alien plant management, offering scope for implementation of experimental design and monitoring by NMMU students.

“We believe this initiative will clearly demonstrate that communities can collaborate in the war on weeds, and that forging relationships and strengthening cooperation between land owners, civil society, the private sector, environmental authorities and scientists is important if we want to create a more sustainable environment for all” says Prof Christo Fabricius who heads up the SRU at NMMU George.

The initiative, furthermore, creates income generating opportunities through the responsible use of the biomass (plant materials) generated, while also focusing on the restoration of the environment afterwards.

As this is a non-profitable venture, the biomass generated through the project will be donated to the informal settlement where, in addition to being used for firewood, it will mark the start of a project on Wattle utilisation.  The idea is that the wood and bark will be utilised for the making of fences and raised beds for gardening; and the weaving of craft products. 

Companies, students and members of the (local) George community are invited to participate in the KTT Hacking Day by entering teams of at least three people. There is no registration fee payable and participants can look forward to spot prizes being awarded for the best team effort, most fun team and best before and after photos.  This will be presented afterwards at a boerewors roll braai hosted by the KTT Forum as a token of appreciation towards all participants.

For more information or to communicate your interest contact Corita Loubser at or alternatively call 044 801 5127 (9:00 – 13:00).  Regrettably no persons under the age of 16 may participate.


COMMITTED TEAM… Prof Christo Fabricius (front left), leader of the NMMU Sustainability Research Unit (RSU) with some members of the Unit - masters students (front) Samantha McCulloch, Verouschka Sonn and Peet Botes; and, at the back, postgrad fellows, Dr Yashwant Rawat and Dr Chloe Guerbois; Rosie Gerolemou (masters student); SRU Co-ordinator Corita Louser (and contact person for the Hacking Day); lecturer and PhD student, Bianca Currie; Bekezela Nxumalo (masters student) and Tatenda Mapeto, PhD student in Forestry.


The outstanding work of the Sustainability Research Unit in the sphere of community engagement was recently acknowledged with the awarding of the NMMU Engagement Excellence Award during the university’s annual academic awards for excellence in the areas of research, teaching and engagement.