We put together a display at Rondebosch Library to help inform the public about the problem and Assistant Librarian Anita Blignaut stands next to our information board and fresh cuttings of IAPs from our area.
Along the Liesbeek our River Maintenance Team works hard to remove a wide range of invasive plants which threaten to encroach on the river. These include poplar trees, wild ginger, cannas (category 1), and the recent threat, purple loosestrife (also category 1). In the water they are trying different methods to remove the parrot’s feather (a category 1 weed) which chokes the Liesbeek Lake; they skim off the floating duckweed which blocks out the sunlight and remove the well-known water hyacinth (category 1).
WEEDS AND INVASIVE PLANTS
The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (CARA) no. 43 of 1983 refers to plants that can be placed into three categories:
Category 1 Declared weeds – prohibited and must be eradicated or be controlled e.g. Crofton weed, Madeira vine, Mothcatcher, Spanish reed, Balloon vine, Spanish Broom, Water Hyacinth, Parrot’s feather, Water lettuce.
Category 2 Declared invaders – may be grown commercially under permit e.g. Honey locust, White and Grey Poplar, Guava, Casteroil plant, Watercress.
Category 3 Declared invaders – can be in gardens but may not be planted or allowed to spread e.g. Loquat, Morning Glory, Jacaranda, Californian and Chinese Privet, Brazilian Peppertree, Tipu tree .
These plants are prohibited within 30m of the 1 in 50 year floodline along watercourses and wetlands.
WHY THESE REGULATIONS?
These invader plants:
1. crowd out indigenous plants and animals
2. increase the damage done by fires
3. use more water than indigenous plants
4. cause erosion and increase flood damage
5. invade agricultural land and compete with food plants.