The 3rd of October saw members of the NMMU SRU visiting the Khayalethu Nature Reserve, initiated and run by the House of Judah, for a field trip and community engagement session. Amongst the activities was a walk through the Nature Reserve, where Invasive Plant Management was highlighted as the primary concern, as well as securing funds for clearing implementation. 


“It was great to see a self-organized initiative led by the community leaders taking positive action in their community” said Samantha McCulloch, student representative of the SRU. Andrew Jackson, SRU member, added that he enjoyed seeing the integrated approach taken by the community. “They don’t only regulate their ecological system but also their social system with regards to combating the negative social effects of harmful narcotics.”

The students enjoyed learning about the Rastafarian “way of life,” including a vegetarian meal prepared by the community and discussions about what it means to be a ‘Rasta’.  “It was a wonderful example of stewardship in action,” said Prof. Christo Fabricius, who is actively involved in stakeholder engagement in the surrounding areas.

At the request of the community leaders, the SRU plans to continue the engagement process through offering technical advice, as well as helping seek funding opportunities and developing community-based monitoring programs.