GERS (Gauteng Environmental Research Symposium)

The Gauteng Environment Research Symposium, hosted by the  Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (GDARDE) and the University of Johannesburg’s Process, Energy & Environmental Technology Station (UJ PEETS), invites academia and local government, as well as industry, civil society and the general public to engage with what is at the cutting edge of environmental research in the Gauteng Province.

Theme: Integrated Waste Management: Focus on townships and informal settlements: A Just Transition to a Circular Economy. #BeatPlasticPollution

Date: 26 October 2023 | 09:00 -16:00.

Venue: Online (link to be shared with those who register).

Register here.

The Purpose:

The Symposium brings together officials from various departments, academia, research and other stakeholders, with the aim of providing feedback and advice, particularly regarding operational and strategic environmental issues, and of enhancing the networking within the Gauteng City Region. The selected theme for this financial year is Integrated Waste Management in Gauteng Province, with a special focus on townships, informal settlements and hostels.

The primary objectives of this year’s event are as follows:

  • Discuss the status quo of integrated waste management in the country, with the main focus on Gauteng province.
  • Share best practice approaches in the environmental sector with regards to actions that can contribute to integrated waste management in the province.
  • Provide a platform for networking and collaboration on current research programmes, which are particularly relevant for the provincial priorities in terms of the Growing Gauteng Together 2030 Plan.
  • Strengthen the knowledge sharing amongst government officials, academia, researchers and other stakeholders.
  • Identify gaps in available research.
  • Identify areas for research collaboration.
  • Develop action plans to take research forward with regards to more impactful, integrated practices.
  • Inform policy and implementation to enhance action towards Gauteng’s climate resilience and sustainable development goals.

Structure of the symposium:

The Symposium is a hybrid event, accommodating an unlimited number of virtual participants, who will be able to take full advantage of the programme, including giving input into the discussion and participating in the parallel sessions that interest them.

The symposium begins with a plenary session for presentations to the entire audience which will be followed by a number of thematic Parallel Group Discussions or breakaway sessions.

Student Symposium:

This year, postgraduate students are invited to submit an abstract towards participation in the Student Symposium, which will take place prior to GERS V.

The top candidates will present their work in the GERS V Symposium, giving them exposure to the environmental research sector and an opportunity to engage with professionals about their research. The winning student will also be granted a prize of financial support to contribute to publishing their research in an accredited journal.


For queries email subject: “GERS V“.

Access the GDARDE 4th Research Symposium Report here. E-file accessible here.


The main objective of the University of Johannesburg’s Process, Energy and Environmental Technology Station (UJ PEETS) is to enhance the competitiveness of businesses in the green economy by utilising specialised knowledge and transferring technology. UJ PEETS acts as a facilitator, connecting academia, industry (particularly SMEs), and government. In order to fulfill our mission, UJ PEETS provides support for various capacity building and policy influencing initiatives that aim to foster the growth of the green economy. Additionally, we offer engineering and technology development assistance to SMEs.

Established in 2010 with the backing of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) through the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Technology Station grants stakeholders in the National System of Innovation (NSI) access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and expertise that would otherwise be inaccessible. Our objective is to foster technological innovation in the green economy, aligning with UJ’s vision of inspiring communities to transform and serving humanity through innovation and collaborative knowledge pursuit.

Energy production and usage, water and air quality, and waste generation and disposal are intricately connected. UJ PEETS promotes interdisciplinary knowledge sharing to support the development of the green economy by establishing connections between SMEs and researchers. In line with sustainable development principles, circular thinking is applied and encouraged in the energy-water-waste nexus. This is achieved through the establishment of networks within UJ and the NSI.


The Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment functions as a governmental department in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Its primary duties encompass overseeing agricultural matters, safeguarding the environment, and conserving nature within the Gauteng region.

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