Invasive Species South Africa - Protecting Biodiversity from Invasion - Items filtered by date: October 2017

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo launched National Invasive Species Week initiatives on Thursday 12 October, 2017 in Juweel Park, Jukskei Park, Randburg, Gauteng.

National Invasive Species Week is an awareness campaign that aims to highlight the destructive nature of invasive plants and animals on water supply, biodiversity, health and the environment.

During the festivities, a massive clearing operation took place along the Klein Jukskei River in Juweel Park.  Teams were deployed from various Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), Working for Water and Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ).

JCPZ is also working with the Klein Jukskei Greenbelt Initiative, an enterprising group of residents who are determined to remove invasive species and clear litter along the Klein Jukskei River which flows through their suburb.  To date, this joint venture has cleared 7km of riverine area - along the Klein Jukskei River.

The local community - under the banner of the Klein Jukskei Greenbelt Initiative - is also working hard to keep their local park free of invasive species. They have cleared over 3000 invasive species including bugweed (Solanum mauritianum), black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) and seringa (Melia azedarach).

“Invasive alien plants (IAPs) pose a direct threat not only to biodiversity, but also to water security, the ecological functioning of natural systems and the productive use of land. They intensify the impact of fires and floods and increase soil erosion” said Jenny Moodley, General Manager: Stakeholder and Public Relations, JCPZ, during her speech at the event.

An indigenous wild plum (Harpephyllum caffrum) was planted by dignitaries at this National Invasive Species Week event to demonstrate the importance of replacing bad plants with good plants. 

National List of Invasive Species

On 1 October, 2014, the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA) - Alien and Invasive Species (AIS) Regulations became law.

The National List of Invasive Species contains 556 invasive species which need to be regulated and controlled. The list includes: *Terrestrial and Fresh-water Plants (379); *Marine Plants (4); *Mammals (41); *Birds (24); *Reptiles (30); *Amphibians (7); *Fresh-water Fish (15); *Terrestrial Invertebrates (23); *Fresh-water Invertebrates (9); *Marine Invertebrates (17) and *Microbial Species (7).  

These species are further divided into four categories:

Category 1a:  These are invasive species which must be combatted and where possible, eradicated. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited. Category 1a species are usually species which are newly established and have small populations.

Category 1b: These are established invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited and landowners are obligated to control Category 1b plants and animals on their properties. A species management plan should be drafted for large properties.

Category 2: Invasive species, or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in which a permit, issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs, is required to carry out a restricted activity. Category 2 species include commercially important species such as pine, wattle and gum trees, as well as certain mammal species bred on game farms. It also includes alien fish species and reptiles and birds found in the exotic pet trade.

Category 2 species revert to Category 1b species when they are no longer under the control of the landowner or when found outside of the demarcated area, such as pines or gums in a wetland or protected area such as a nature reserve or national park.

Category 3: Invasive species which may remain in prescribed areas or provinces. Further planting, propagation or trade is however, prohibited.

Invasive Species and your property

The AIS Regulations state that anyone selling their property is required to notify the purchaser in writing of the presence of invasive species on that land. By not notifying the purchaser, the seller could be held liable for future costs associated with the removal or control of these invasive species, or damage caused due to the presence of invasive species such as damage to buildings and infrastructure by fire fuelled by species such as invasive gum and pine trees.

The inaugural National Invasive Species Week runs from 09-13 October, 2017. The week aims to highlight the importance of invasive species in relation to our economy, human health, food security, water supply and biodiversity.

National Invasive Species Week aims to raise awareness and increase public understanding around invasive plants and animals. Everyone can participate by removing invasive plants from their garden or by joining a local community hack group to remove invasives from their neighbourhood and replace them with indigenous plants.

For more information on invasive species and happenings, visit the Invasive Species South Africa website:

Report by Sikhululekile Solwandle.


The last two sessions of SAGIC Invasive Species legislation and herbicide applicator’s course in 2017 will take place in November.

Are you interested in flora and fauna?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? Get all the information by booking your space today and expand your career prospects.

Book now and become a SAGIC invasive species consultant, head up an invasive species removal team or embark on a journey to learn how to compile control plans for municipalities, large landowners and residential estates.

Invasive Species & Herbicide Training will be held in:

Cape Town:    13, 14, 15 & 16 November 2017

Venue: The Bistro, Klein Joostenberg, R304, Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch.    

                GPS: 33 82’ 66 21 S / 18 79” 55 15 W

Johannesburg:  28, 29, 30 November & 1 December 2017

Venue: 87 Linksfield Road, Dowerglen, Edenvale, 1609, Johannesburg.

                  GPS: -26.149736, 28.137139

SAGIC offers four modules:

      Module 1: Identification & Legislation (Day 1):   Learn to identify invasive species, categories and understand the legislation.

      Module 2: Directives & Control Plans (Day 2):    How to manage declarations, permits, pre-directives, directives and control plans.

      Module 3: Theory: Herbicides & Control Methods (Day 3):   Introduction to herbicides and how to use them.

      Module 4: Practical: Spraying Herbicides (Day 4):    A practical learning experience in the field with industry experts.

* Complete Module 3 & Module 4 and receive a SETA-accredited Herbicide Applicator’s Certificate (DAFF).

* If you attended training in 2016, you have already completed Module 1 & 3 (above)

SAGIC invasive species and herbicide training is an entirely self-funding project.

Booking is essential.

     * Email the attached fillable booking form to Khuli at

     * We will then send you an invoice for payment prior to training.

     * The name on the booking form is the name that will appear on your certificate.

To download a Booking form for an INDIVIDUAL - Click below: 


To download a Booking form for a GROUP - Click below:


Entry to training: No one will be admitted to the training without payment or prior arrangement.

Cost per module: R 912 (Including VAT)

Times: 09h00 – 16h00 (Module 1, 2 & 3)

             09h00 – 14h00 (Module 4)

The training is targeted at horticulturists, landscapers, landscape architects, conservationists, invasive species professionals, biocontrol officers, municipal parks’ department officials, botanists, zoologists and passionate gardeners with knowledge and interest in flora and fauna.     

For further information: Contact Khuli or Kay at or or Tel: 011-723-9000.

Did you know?

* DUTY OF CARE FOR LANDOWNERS: Invasive species are defined as a liability under NEMBA. Any person who owns land in South Africa now has a ‘legal duty of care’ to control the invasive species on their land and anyone selling land, must inform the buyer of their land, of any invasive species on the property.

* CONTROL PLANS: That under the NEMBA AIS Regulations... all organs of state - which includes municipalities, metros, parastatals (Eskom, Transnet, SANRAL), protected areas (SANParks, all Nature Reserves), military bases, ministry’s, provinces and all state educational facilities - are required to submit control plans, which outline how they will deal with the invasive species on land under their control, to the Biosecurity Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs.

* SELLING PROPERTY? Applications can now also be made to have a directive sent to any landowner who is not controlling listed invasive species on their property. Under these circumstances, large landowners will need the assistance of environment-trained professionals to identify species, develop and submit control plans to the government - to avoid prosecution.

Report by Sikhululekile Solwandle