Alien Invasive Species.

In Knysna Municipality’s  latest  “Council News”  the following snippet appeared on the back page:

awarness-campaign

my questions are;

  • What is the municipality Actually DOING to control and eradicate alien plants?
  • What is “the Mantis public awareness campaign”? Who has heard of it or seen anything about it? I have contacted Kay Montgomery, coordinator of  the www.invasives.org.za website, but she has never heard of the campaign! I’m now waiting from a response from the Municipality to shed some light on their press release.

For the last two years, since the Alien Invasive Species Regulations were published in October 2014, I have been trying my damnedest  to create awareness about the scourge of these invasive plants in our gardens and within the municipal area – with no support from the media or the local authorities.  I suggested that a weekly column on the worst invaders be published to educate gardeners and the public at large, I tried to organise an awareness campaign in the Knysna Mall. But it all came to naught because  of a lack of support.

As members of Gardening at Leisure we must now become more proactive: become aware of the existence of invasive plants in your area and report them to the Municipality, (contact dmurphy@knysna.gov.za, copy emails to the Municipal manager (geaston@knysna.go.za)  Demand action and replies in writing about what has been done. The law states very clearly that an Invasive Species Monitoring, Control and Eradication Plans must be developed by authorities of protected areas and organs of state in all spheres of government.   (Chapter 4, 8(1a),  (2a & 2b) & (3) Governement Gazette, Regulation Gazette No. 10244, Vol. 590, Pretoria 1 August 2014, No. 37885. Every municipality or organ of state is required to submit their invasive species control plan by the 1st of October 2016.

The listed invasive plants are divided into four categories, 1a,1b, 2 and 3.
Category 1a – Must be eradicated. Trading is strictly prohibited.
Category 1b – Must be controlled, where possible, removed and destroyed. Trading is strictly
prohibited.
Category 2 – Permit required and only allowed for restricted activities
e.g. commercial plantations. If escaped, in riparian zones or in protected areas = 1b.
Category 3 – May remain in prescribed areas. Further planting, propagating or trading is prohibited.

My advice to you is to take control of alien invasive species in your own garden.  Where alien plants from adjoining properties invade yours, remind the owner in a civil way that he/she is responsible for the spread of such plants.

For full details  and legislation, initiatives & news: log on to www.invasives.org.za.

I’m happy to identify ‘suspect’ plants:  please just send a photo or two to  esthert@telkomsa.net. You can also copy me your emails to the municipality.