Small-scale contractors gear up for the fight against invasive alien plants

1 October 2019

Invasive alien plant infestation was one of the main drivers of the intense wildfire disasters and is now compelling landowners to take action and clear their land of invasive biomass to prevent a recurrence of the tragic events.

The upside for landowners in the region is that there are a number of trained and equipped contractor teams available that specialise in the control and eradication of invasive alien plants. The contractors are well-versed in dealing with invasive alien plants and landowners can contact them directly in order to obtain quotations for them to do the work.

The Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) presented a skills-training workshop for small-scale and emerging contractors on invasive alien plant clearing and control operations in the Garden Route. The workshop was hosted in Knysna on 19 September. Pamela Booth, Manager: Environmental Management at Knysna Municipality, presented a session on invasive alien plants growing in the area. (Photo: SCLI)

Earlier, SCLI presented a skills-training workshop for small-scale and emerging contractors who are involved in invasive alien plant clearing and control operations in the Garden Route. The workshop was hosted in Knysna on 19 September.

These days, the Department of Environmental Affairs insists that affected landowners must become compliant in terms of environmental legislation and develop Invasive Alien Plant (IAP) Control Plans for their properties. IAP control plans reflect which invasive plant species are present on the land, how old they are, what densities they occur in, and how to deal with the plants in clearing and controlling them.

Perhaps more important, the control plans provide landowners with prioritisation options and corresponding costing schedules, which enables them to deal with invasive alien plants within their means and budget.

SCLI is currently assisting landowners affected by the fires, as well as those situated along the Great Brak, Kaaimans, Touw, Goukamma and Knysna rivers with the development of IAP control plans free of charge.

Landowners can contact Cobus Meiring on 083 626 7619 or via email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za for more information.

**The Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) is a public platform for landowners and land managers with an interest in the control and eradication of invasive alien plants. SCLI is a think tank for water stewardship, biodiversity management and climate change, and is supported by the Table Mountain Fund, a subsidiary of WWF SA. SCLI is also the Secretariat for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Written by Marti Kirstein