Tim Westwood (MSc candidate)

The potential conflict of interest associated with the management of Rosa rubiginosa in South Africa

Supervisors: Prof Gavin Fraser & Dr. Grant Martin

Tim completed his undergraduate and honours degree at Rhodes University in Economics under the supervision of Prof Gavin Fraser. Tim honours involved assessing the informal sector surrounding the citrus industry in Bedford, Eastern Cape Province. Tim started his Masters at Rhodes University in 2018.


Thick infestation of Rosa rubiginosa restricting access of landowners and reducing carrying capacity of the land in Eastern Free State

Project background

Rosa rubiginosa L (Rosaceae) (Sweetbriar) is a compact, deciduous shrub native to Europe and Asia and has become naturalised and invasive in the mountainous regions of South Africa (Henderson 2001). The plants seeds are easily spread by both birds and flowing water. Where established, the shrub competes with and replaces indigenous plant species and dense stands are virtually impenetrable and restrict access to grazing and water by domestic and wild animals. In South Africa it is regarded as a Category 1b invasive species under the NEMBA regulations (Category 1b invasive species require control by means of an invasive species management programme. Additionally plants may not be planted or propagated, and all trade in their seeds, cuttings or other propagative material is prohibited (NEMBA 2014)). The plant is not commercially farmed in either South Africa or Lesotho, however the hips - the accessory fruit of the plant - are picked by local communities and sold to pharmaceutical companies. One company -Earthoil - estimate that over 1200 local villagers from Lesotho collect rosehips for their company alone (Earthoil 2017). Neither the size of the market in Lesotho nor South Africa has been determined, nor any potential conflicts of interests that may arise from the management of the species in South Africa.

Last Modified: Fri, 03 Aug 2018 10:06:49 SAST