Invasive alien plants (IAPs) are a serious problem and they have spread rapidly in the Overstrand, impacting resident species diversity and ecosystem processes.
Without natural enemies, these plants reproduce and spread quickly, taking valuable water and space from our indigenous plants.
Many alien plants consume more water than local plants, depleting our valuable water resources.
Thick alien vegetation can also provide fuel for veldfires.
There are 559 alien species listed as weeds and invaders and another 560 species are listed as prohibited and may not be introduced into South Africa.
Below is a brief explanation of the four categories of Invasive Alien Plants as per the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act No.43 of 1983).
The Categories are as follows:
• Category 1a
Invasive species requiring compulsory control. Remove and destroy. Any specimens of Category 1a listed species need, by law, to be eradicated from the environment. No permits will be issued.
• Category 1b:
Invasive species requiring compulsory control as part of an invasive species control programme. Remove and destroy. These plants are deemed to have such a high invasive potential that infestations can qualify to be placed under a government sponsored invasive species management programme. No permits will be issued.
• Category 2:
Invasive species regulated by area. A demarcation permit is required to import, possess, grow, breed, move, sell, buy or accept as a gift any plants listed as Category 2 plants. No permits will be issued for Cat 2 plants to exist in riparian zones.
• Category 3:
Invasive species regulated by activity. An individual plant permit is required to undertake any of the following restricted activities (import, possess, grow, breed, move, sell, buy or accept as a gift) involving a Category 3 species. No permits will be issued for Cat 3 plants to exist in riparian zones.
The top 7 invasive “deadly sinners” found in gardens and the Fernkloof Nature Reserve:
1. Rooikrans (Acacia cyclops)
2. Eucalyptus species (Eucalyptus)
3. Port Jackson (Acacia saligna)
4. Sweet hakea (Hakeadrupacea)
5. Cluster pine (Pinuspinaster)
6. Australian myrtle (Leptospermum laevigatum)
7. Long-leaved wattle (Acacia longifolia