Khusela Ikamva – “Secure the Future”

UCT launched the Khusela Ikamva “secure the future” sustainable campus project in 2020, as part of its vision 2030 Agenda. Sustainability is a core concern of UCT’s Vision 2030.

The aim of the project is to catalyse the transformation of UCT into a sustainable campus by establishing a community of practice informed by:

  • leading research that incorporates UCT stakeholders from all spheres (students, academic and PASS staff)
  • extensive and inclusive engagement with the university community
  • exemplar Living Lab interventions on campus, that serve as a proof-of-concept

The project will consider environmental, financial and social impacts associated with five core themes in the UCT campus context, namely energy/carbon, water, waste, wildlife and social responsiveness. The project aims to support and build on UCT’s environmental sustainability strategy and will include research to determine the feasibility of particular elements. Certain solutions will be developed into a proof-of-concept to be tested on campus, in targeted areas on campus, through a Living Lab approach. The project will thereby become a key enabler to transform the institutional fabric of UCT to become a more sustainable campus, through not only the physical fabric of the campus but also through the social fabric which is the campus community.

The project focuses on these key themes, each with a dedicated research leader and team located in a UCT research institution, collaborating together:

  • energy/carbon footprint – Harro von Blottnitz (ESRG)
  • sustainable water – Kirsty Carden (Future Water)
  • waste/energy/food nexus – Thanos Kotsiopoulos (CeBER)
  • wildlife/waste/art nexus – Nicoli Nattrass (iCWild)
  • establishing a community of practice/social responsiveness – Britta Rennkamp (ACDI)

The work is coordinated by the Director for Environmental Sustainability in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, with support services from the Research Office, including a governance committee that will track the progress of the project over the course of this five-year project (2021 to 2026).

Progress made so far within different project teams

Student engagements


The project was awarded R10 million over five years, R2 million per annum and includes several postgraduate research opportunities. It is the hope and intention that the project grows and continues beyond the five years, that it attracts additional funding and research opportunities. The project will also act as a vortex to draw in other existing and new research that will grow UCT’s current sustainability related work.

For more information about this project contact the Director: Environmental Sustainability.

UCT prioritises sustainability through ‘Khusela Ikamva’ project
Remote video URL