Staff project provides much-needed monkey-proof bins

Skhumbuzo Mhlongo, second from left, showing the cleaning staff how the monkey-proof bin works. On the left is Sthembile Nkosi

As the academic year gets into full swing, everyone at the University is requested to take up an additional responsibility that should be part of the University culture henceforth.  Two of the University’s members from the Faculties of Engineering and Natural Sciences have collaborated with the Operations directorate to source the much-needed bins which will give a solution to the litter that is caused by the monkey. Skhumbuzo Mhlongo, a Control Industrial Technician in the Department of Civil Engineering, and Sthembile Nkosi, a Lecturer in the Department of Nature Conservation, said seeing the litter problems from the monkeys as they forage for food on campuses, and the fact that the litter bins that are used cannot prevent the monkeys from pulling out all the kinds of rubbish, as they look for what is edible. As far back as 2020, the two staff members decided to find a solution to the problem, without harming the animals. “We approached the Operations directorate. Now they have given us ninety-five 240 litre monkey-proof bins. We have provided six 280 litre bins, which were bought through the CEAD funds,” said Mhlongo. Mhlongo added that they are troubled by the issue of wild animals that pose a threat to staff and students. Mhlongo and Nkosi said the provision of these bins was part of the Environmental Education and Sustainability project they started in 2023. The project is registered with the University’s CEAD. The project has an external wing which is led by Dr Sibonelo Mbanjwa, a Lecturer in the Department of Nature Conservation; and the internal wing which is led by Mhlongo and Nkosi. The internal wing of the project aims to keep the campus clean through cleanup, awareness campaigns, and other forms of environmental education.

Mhlongo, Nkosi and Mbali Dlamini, Site Manager of a landscaping company, Pretty Seasons Garden Company, appealed to staff and students to use the new bins that are intended to discourage the monkey from littering the campuses.