Parthenium is currently targeted for control by the Department of Environmental Affairs who have several projects running in northern KwaZulu-Natal where this weed is becoming a major problem. A two-page parthenium identification kit is being developed which will assist fieldworkers to identify this plant during control operations.
This invasive weed was photographed on 21 February 2013 in the township of Maboloka, approximately 30km north-east of Brits. It was in full flower and dense stands were photographed around the post office and shopping centre. It is also known to occur around several localities in and around the town of Brits, as well as Rustenburg.
Parthenium is a category 1 declared weed. Parthenium is of national health concern, as exposure can result in acute allergies such as skin rashes and blisters, as well as aggravated asthma attacks. It is also known to affect livestock and contaminate agricultural crops. Farmers in North West Province should become well acquainted with this weed, as it may well have a detrimental impact on future agricultural plans in the province.