Working for Water Programme

Inaugural Research Symposium

19 – 21 August 2003, Cape Town,
South Africa


The Working for Water Programme is a public-funded initiative aimed at controlling the spread of invasive alien plants within South Africa. It was initiated in 1995, by the then Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Prof. Kader Asmal, and has since grown to a dynamic programme with an annual budget of R480 million. Working for Water conserves our water resources and unique biodiversity, and aims to provide sustainable employment for approximately 15 000 of South Africa’s rural poor per annum.  

The multi-faceted nature of the work that the Programme is involved in has given rise to focusing of research efforts in 6 areas, each of them concentrating on the role of invasive alien plants in relation to that focus area.
These are:

  • Hydrology
  • Biological control
  • Ecology
  • Social development and 
    occupational health and safety
  • Operations
  • Resource and development

This research symposium is aimed at highlighting ongoing research addressing these focus areas, whilst also eliciting responses from the broader research community in highlighting innovative approaches in dealing with the problem of alien invading plants.

Objectives of the symposium

  • To encourage knowledge-sharing, integration, and innovation, by bringing together researchers from a range of disciplines;
  • To allow researchers the opportunity to present their work to managers; and
  • To allow managers the opportunity to provide inputs into the research programme.

Who should attend?

  • All researchers currently funded by the Working for Water programme;
  • All members of the Working for Water research review panels;
  • Scientists, engineers and social scientists with an interest in the impacts and control of invasive alien plants;
  • Managers in the working for Water programme, or any of its component implementing agencies;
  • Land managers, in particular those in the fields of conservation, forestry, or agriculture; and
  • Policy-makers from government, NGOs and the private sector.


Old Mutual Conference Centre, 
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, 
Cape Town, 
South Africa

Click HERE for registration form

Expressions of interest 
Those interested in attending the symposium, or receiving further information, are requested to complete the attached from, and return it (by post, email or fax) to Mr Ahmed Khan at one of the following: 

Postal Address:
Private Bag X4390 
Cape Town
Fax:+2721 405 7880/2
All respondents will be placed on the mailing list for further communications and announcements.

Call for presentations 
Each of the six research themes will be introduced by an invited keynote paper. Keynote papers will be delivered on invitation, by leading South African scientists from the relevant field. In addition, a number of papers (reporting on projects funded by Working for Water) will be presented. A limited number of slots are also available for other individuals or teams to present papers related to the research themes as stated above. Authors are asked to submit abstracts of their papers in electronic format. It is envisaged that a poster session will also be held during the symposium, and those submissions that cannot be accommodated as verbal presentations will be considered for this session. 

Abstracts (not exceeding 500 words) should be sent to Mr Ahmed Khan at the above email address for consideration.

Publication of papers
The Symposium Organising Committee has arranged for the six invited keynote papers to be published in a special issue of the South African Journal of Science. In addition, all abstracts reporting novel and substantial research that has neither been published nor already accepted for publication will be published in the special issue. In addition, authors wishing to publish full-length papers in this special issue can submit papers. These will be subject to the normal peer review process of the journal.

All papers will be in English.

Closing date for submissions of expressions of interest: 
31 May 2003

Closing date for abstracts: 
31 May 2003

Authors notified of acceptance of abstracts: 
15 June 2003

Closing date for registration: 
30 July 2003

A registration fee of R200 is payable. This will cover registration costs, teas and meals during the duration of the symposium.

Click here for the final Programme is available for your information.

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