To date millions of hectares in South Africa have been invaded by alien plant species. The impact on the local flora and fauna is immense and left unchecked they have the potential to do huge damage to our fragile eco-systems. Some of the effects of invader plants include:
They increase flood damage
They compete with agricultural crops
They replace indigenous plants and animals
The increase water loss from catchments
They expand the range of disease carrying organisms
Despite raising large sums of money through national government programs, the extent of the invasion has still not been reduced. In recognising the threat posed by invader plants the National Department of Agriculture has drafted regulations and listed weeds and alien invader plants under the Conservation of Agriculture Resources Act.
The plants in the list are categorised into three categories:
Weeds which may not be grown and must be controlled.
Invader plants with commercial or utility value, which may only be grown with a permit under controlled conditions
Invader plants which may not be planted, propagated, imported or traded. Existing plants may remain but must be removed within 30m of watercourses.
Click here for more information on alien invader plants.