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27 October 2021 Media Release: We are controlling alien invasive species on all our properties

Media Release:  We are controlling alien invasive species on all our properties

For Immediate Release
27 October 2021

Section 76 of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) requires that all “Organs of State in all spheres of Government”, develop an “Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plan” for land under their control. These plans have to cover all listed invasive species in Section 70(1) of the Act.

According to Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, “the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has complied with the required mandatory legislation to take responsibility for eradicating alien species on its properties to adhere to the above”.  Booysen stated that during 2019 Council already appointed a service provider to compile an Invasive Monitoring Control and Eradication Plan as outlined in the two sets of legislation that regulate the declaration and control of Invasive Alien Species in South Africa.

These include the :

  • Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (43 of 1983, CARA); and
  • the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004, NEMBA).

GRDM, in 2019, submitted the Invasive Monitoring Control and Eradication Plan to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) for approval. After numerous engagements, including inspection of Council’s properties based on the submitted plan, on 05 August 2021, the GRDM received approval for the Plan. Following this, the GRDM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Section was mandated to monitor and evaluate properties bi-monthly as part of a monitoring and management control plan.  This approach was established to mitigate the risks on Council properties and adhere to NEMBA. Therefore, the progress and status of the Council properties regarding invasive species control is regularly tabled in Council.

Other recommendations from the GRDM Council regarding the management and monitoring of invasive and alien species includes:

  • creating fire breaks on Council’s properties; and
  • regular clearing and the erection of fencing at all Council properties to avoid sanction as outlined by section 102 of the Act (NEMBA).

Some of Council’s properties are located on the coastal lines with where there is a vast range of biodiversity species. However, easy accessibility to these properties contributes to illegal dumping, which poses a high risk to the threatened species. Numerous cleanup actions were conducted and are continuously planned for these properties.

With the current GRDM Council that approved Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plan, as well as all the control plans with specified timeframes, it is evident that future invasion by alien species is and will be managed and reduced.  An aggressive approach will be taken to implement proposed solutions and controls, pending the budget available within the 2021/22 financial year.

GRDM Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plan