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Minister Edna Molewa launches Weed-Buster Awareness Campaign

02 October 2014

 

Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, launched the Weed-Buster Awareness Campaign in Nooitgedacht/Morula Sun dam, City of Tshwane District Municipality, today, 02 October 2014. 

Weed-buster Month is an annual campaign intended to raise awareness and increase public understanding of the problems alien plants can cause. The campaign is led by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and supported by various partners and stakeholders. The South African campaign is linked to invasive plant control initiatives by countries, such as, Australia and New Zealand, as well as to the broader Global Invasive Species Programme.

The DEA’s Working-for-Water Programme is one of government’s flagship programmes, and is the largest public-funded initiative aimed at managing invasive alien plants in the world. It is an example of integrating environmental conservation and poverty eradication objectives.

“As the country celebrates 20 years of freedom and democracy, this gives us an opportunity as government to reflect on the success stories we have achieved in implementing programmes that make a difference in people’s lives while saving the environment. Working-for programmes are amongst those kinds of programmes, and the Working-for-Water programme in particular, was first launched by the former Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Kader Asmal in the Western Cape 19 years ago.

The programme forms part of an overall integrated weed management programme, where bio-control is seen working alongside traditional chemical and mechanical control methods. The Working-for-Water Programme created 181 000 full-time jobs,” said Minister Molewa.

The focus of this year’s campaign is the clearing of water weeds, specifically Water Hyacinth in the Nooitgedacht/Morula Sun dam and other water systems in the country.

It is important to note that this year marks the centenary of biological control research and implementation in South Africa. This milestone was showcased at an international symposium held in the Kruger National Park earlier this year. The DEA is a major contributor to the management of biological control in the country.

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