No cash for alien removal
INVASIVE plant species along Joburg’s water bodies are causing huge problems for residents whose properties are being invaded by the plants and for City Parks.
Charlie Davis, in Bassonia, is angry and frustrated that City Parks is not removing the Australian black wattle growing wild outside his property.
“I have been trying to get a growth of these wattles removed from a what is a ‘green zone’ owned by Joburg council. It is causing massive soil erosion on a 15° slope and is destroying all surrounding natural vegetation… My pleas have been going on for over three years, with no result. I assume this is due to the fact that the site is not easily accessible and few people can see it.
“My property overlooks this area, and the residents of this complex are also concerned that there are vagrants living within the growth, and it is also becoming a fire hazard,” he said.
The plants had grown rapidly from an area of 10m 2 to about 500m2 in 10 years.
“They are also forcing the local dassies to move to find the sunlight,” he said.
Ward councillor Paul Smit said alien plants, including wat- tles and blue gum trees, were a massive problem in all the southern suburbs of Joburg, and City Parks did not have the budget to tackle them. “Not removing these plants is contrary to a number of environmental acts. City Parks removes them from time to time, but it is a seven-year project to do so. They are supposed to return once a year to make sure the plants are dead, but they do not do so, because they haven’t got the budget.”
Smit said the city should ask the province for money to carry out this programme in terms of provincial environmental acts.
City Parks said alien plant removal was specialised.
Spokesman Jenny Moodley said its Environmental Conservation Department had a longterm plan for the removal of these plants.
“We are looking at this area in terms of planning and resource allocation,” she added.
INVASION: A Bassonia resident is angry and frustrated that City Parks is not removing the Australian black wattle growing wild outside his property.