Globally everyone is becoming environmentally conscious, and the public play a substantial role in promoting “green” topics. To be “green”,  is becoming a necessity in order for businesses to run successfully. It is a mind shift, but a mind shift that is beneficial to you, your environment, your customer and your prosperity in the long run.

Invasive species are controlled by the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act,2004 (Act no. 10 of 2004).Alien and Invasive Species (AIS) Regulations which became law on 1 October 2014.

The AIS Regulations list 4 different categories of invasive species that must be managed ,controlled and/or eradicated.

These plants, animals or microbes ,are widely regarded as among the biggest threats to the productive use of land and water, the ecological functioning of natural systems, health and to the economy as a whole.

There are many misinterpretations regarding the new NEMBA regulations, and we at Inspectus aim to assist the public in understanding and applying this new act.

Regulations states:

Nemba(2004):Chapter 5,part 2,page 60,73(2)

A person who is the owner of land on which listed invasive species occurs must notify any relevant competent authority in writing of the invasive species occurring on the land/property.

Nemba Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (2014):Chapter 7,Section 29,(1),(2) and (3):

The seller of any immovable property must prior to the conclusion of the relevant sale agreement, notify the purchaser of the property in writing of the presence of listed invasive species on the property.

The purpose of the Law is to manage ,control and eradicate these species to save our bio diversity and to prevent economical damage they cause. The unfortunate mismanagement of invasive species has escalated to such point that we as a community need to work together in order to eradicate these species.

The NEMBA act became Law on 1 October 2014 and during the first part of 2015 a program was rolled out by SAGIC to train and certify consultants to assist with declarations, identifying and consulting on these species. All registered consultants issued with a unique SAGIC registration number. The next step is to inform us and apply the law.

What is some of the issues at hand?

As a seller of a property, you could expose yourself to legal suits from the buyer, if he discovers invasive species on his/her property that they were unaware of when purchasing the property.

These illegal species would need to be cleared off the land, even a single big tree, could be an extremely costly exercise. For example; a farm or small holding covered in Port Jackson trees or other invasive species could cost millions to clear and keep controlled, and surely this becomes a liability for the land owner as the potential purchaser will use this in his offer to purchase as a bargaining tool.

Veld fires ,as we have seen regularly in the Western Cape, are increasingly becoming more vigorous and destructive, reason for this being mainly due to the rapid spreading of invasive species. Not only do these species burn faster, and causes fires to spread more rapidly,  also burning four time hotter, thus making it extremely difficult to bring under control. In the process these fires kill all the seeds of the indigenous plants that might occur in the soil.

South Africa is a water scarce country. Some of these invasive trees could use up to 200 litres of water per day, with the effect being obvious. In areas where invasive species has been cleared, streams of water has appeared again after many years as the soil water returned to their natural levels.

Bee populations are increasingly coming under threat, and our indigenous plants require bees for pollination to ensure the survival of the species. In many cases bees prefer to pollinate the invasive species with a  very high flower and pollen count, and in that neglecting to pollinate our indigenous species.

You might not think of that one plant in your garden as a threat to nature, but considering that bees take the pollen of that plant and pollinate various other indigenous species of the same family, and thus producing a hybrid in nature that could cause the extinction of that species or huge damage to bio diversity. The same happens when an alien species of animal escapes from our farm and breed with our indigenous species.

These are some of the issues that we are dealing with, and of which most of the public are completely unaware of.