In its efforts to develop its neighbourhood, which is part of the University’s Anchor Strategy, the Department of Nature Conservation organised a workshop in which members of communities from the immediate surroundings were given a lecture by the ERR Wildlands. ERR Wildlands provides skills and knowledge to the community, and provides stipend to the youth that are part of the ERR project. ERR Wildlands will also provide job opportunities to nearby community members for a period of five months. These job opportunities will start in November 2019. Selected community members will mainly focus on controlling an alien weed called parthenium hysterophorus.
On 5 November 2019 the selected youth were taken through an induction by the ERR Wildlands staff on the application of the herbicide. Commenting on the importance of the training, Sithembile Nkosi, a lecturer in the department said: “The collaboration is a great opportunity for our neighbours, since being in contact with the plant over a long period can cause serious health issues such as skin problems and asthma.