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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Residents in Cape Town are urged to use the online reporting tool for reporting sightings of invasive wasps as the primary reporting means. More than 2 000 people have accessed the City of Cape Town’s new online wasp reporting application since its official launch in November last year.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 14:00

Sign up for Invasive Species Training

The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) will host two training modules on specific aspects of invasive species.

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

The dates for the training are:

Port Elizabeth – 2 & 3 February, 2016

Johannesburg – 2 & 3 March, 2016

Cape Town – 16 & 17 March, 2016

Durban – 13 & 14 April, 2016

Network of invasive species consultants

All trained professionals will be listed in a SAGIC database of invasive species consultants (www.sagic.co.za & www.invasives.org.za) and will receive a certificate to indicate that they have attended the workshops.

It is hoped that SAGIC consultants will be able to assist estate agents and sellers of properties to check properties and sign off on the Declaration of Invasive Species Form (see fillable pdf form attached) in various regions of the country.

People who attend the module on Invasive Species Control Plans will get an insight into the invasive species control plans that every organ of state (eg. municipalities) need to have drawn up by October 2016.

Invasive species are a liability to landowners. The law says:

NEMBA (2004): Chapter 5, Part 2, page 60, 73 (2) (b)(2)  Duty of care:   A person who is the owner of land on which a listed invasive species occurs must take steps to control or eradicate the listed invasive species.  ‘Control’ means the systematic removal of all visible specimens of an invasive species.

NEMBA Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (2014): Chapter 7, Section 29, (1), (2), (3): The seller of any immovable property must, prior to the conclusion of the relevant sale agreement, notify the purchaser of that property in writing of the presence of listed invasive species on that property.

The two day training will cover:

Module 1:

Introduction to legislation:   * An explanation of the NEMBA legislation and the updates.* Landowner duty of care * Organs of state * Permitting and compliance * Invasive species lists.

Note:  This module is a newer, updated and more relevant version of the one-day SAGIC invasive species training given in 2015. More focus on the law as well as the process regarding pre-directives and directives.

Module 2:

Developing and implementing control plans: * Work load assessments * Control methods * Writing a control plan * Implementing a control plans. 

SAGIC's training is an entirely self-funding project. Each person will pay R600 per day – per module - for training. Training dates across the country are detailed on the attached SAGIC booking form. 

Booking: Booking is essential.  Complete the fillable booking form (downloadable below), please return to Margie Vonk along with proof of payment -  .  Electronic payment details are on the form.


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

For more info:  or speak to Hazel @ 011 723 9000

Websites: See www.sagic.co.za, www.sali.co.za or www.invasives.org.za for info and to download the booking form.

Note regarding the PDF Fillable Booking Form: 

The latest version of Adobe Reader is required for the fillable PDF document to work effectively.  You can download the latest version of Adobe Reader FOR FREE from http://get.adobe.com/

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has noted media reports where it is alleged that some people are illegally selling red-eared slider turtles through the internet.

The red-eared slider is one of the American turtle species (Trachemys species) currently listed as Category 1b in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act Alien and Invasive Species Regulations of 2014. In terms of this category of listing, such species must be controlled, and may not be sold, transferred, bred or in any other manner allowed to invade.

The efforts to sell red-eared sliders through the internet are therefore illegal, and an offence in terms of the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations. Such offences may result in a fine of up to R5 million for the first offence and/or a jail sentence.

The Department is engaging the administrators of the website where the trading allegedly took place with a view to ban adverts for sales or exchange through their platform.

The DEA is reconsidering the listing of red-eared sliders, moving it from Category 1a to Category 2. This will enable people to keep red-eared sliders, but they may not sell, breed, release or otherwise cause the movement of these turtles from the approved enclosures in which they are kept. If there is no Permit for the red-eared slider, it is then automatically categorized as Category 1b, and must be controlled as indicated above.

Members of the public are urged to avoid the spread of listed invasive species, as these may cause extreme damage to ecological functioning of systems, biodiversity and the economy.

For media queries, contact:

Zolile Nqayi

Cell: 082 898 6483

Sunday, 15 November 2015 10:53

South Africa's Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. The government then introduced the Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) initiative aimed at drawing a significant number of unemployed South Africans in a productive manner that will enable them to gain skills and increase their capacity to earn income.

The Environmental Programmes (EP) is one of the branches within the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) responsible for identifying and ensuring implementation of programmes that employ Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) principles to contribute towards addressing unemployment in line with the “decent employment through inclusive economic growth” outcome, by working with communities to identify local opportunities that will benefit the communities. Through this branch there has been immense contribution to the country’s economic status through massive job creation opportunities an infrastructure development.

The main goal of the branch is to alleviate poverty and uplift households especially those headed by women through job creation, skills development, and use of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) whilst at the time contributing to the achievement of the departmental mandate.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 16:23

Working for Water celebrates 20 years!

The world-renowned Working for Water (WfW) Programme celebrates two decades of invasive species clearing and job creation since it’s inauguration on 16 October, 2015. This celebrated programme, which has gained international recognition for its achievements in invasive species clearing, environmental conservation and job creation, was launched in 1995 in the Western Cape by the late Professor Kader Asmal, then Minister of Water Affairs.

The WfW programme is a Department of Environmental Affairs funded programme, which aims to eradicate invasive alien plants and improve water security. It has has created more than 180 000 jobs to young people, women and the physically disabled. It has trained specialist teams that can work in all terrains, such as high altitude teams, as well as water teams to deal with aquatic invaders. 

Securing water resources

Invasive plants pose a direct threat not only to South Africa's biological diversity, 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. These plants can divert enormous amounts of water from more productive uses. More than this, invasive aquatic plants – such as the water hyacinth – affect agriculture, fisheries, transport, recreation and water supply.     

WfW works with local communities, by providing jobs, and with national government departments such as environment, agriculture, and trade and industry. It also collaborates with provincial departments of agriculture, conservation and environment, research foundations and private companies.

Since its launch, the programme has cleared more than 1-million hectares of invasive alien plants, all the while providing jobs and training to thousands of people from the most marginalised sectors of society, of these, 52% are women.

WfW currently runs over 300 projects in all nine of South Africa's provinces. The programme is globally recognised as one of the most outstanding environmental conservation initiatives in Africa, and the world.

Friday, 06 November 2015 11:36

Celebrate National Invasive Species Week

South Africa celebrates National Invasive Species Week (10 - 17 October, 2015) this month. The celebration aims to raise awareness on the 559 plants and animals that needs to be regulated and controlled in the country. Events are taking place all across the country.

Invasive species are causing billions of Rands worth of damage to South Africa's economy each year. 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. IAPs can divert enormous amounts of water from more productive uses and invasive aquatic plants, such as water hyacinth affect agriculture, fisheries, transport, recreation and water supply. It is estimated that invasive plants cover about 10% of the country.

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

The AIS Regulations contain a National List of Invasive Species (559 plants and animals) which need to be regulated and controlled. These include plants (383), mammals (41), birds (24), reptiles (35), amphibians (7), fresh-water fish (15), terrestrial invertebrates (23), fresh-water invertebrates (8), marine invertebrates (16) and microbial species (7).

These species are further divided into four categories – Category 1a (newly emerging invasives requiring immediate control), Category 1b (widespread invasives which must be controlled and ideally removed from properties), Category 2 (species requiring permits) and Category 3 (species which may remain in place but further trading, propagation or planting is prohibited).

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.

National Invasive Species Week

The inaugural National Invasive Species Week runs from 10-17 October, 2015 hopes to publicize the 559 invasive flora and fauna species that are listed in South Africa. The week aims to highlight the importance of invasive species in relation to our economy, human health, food security, water supply and biodiversity. This event runs concurrently with National WeedBuster Week, which has been an institution in this country for two decades and celebrates the 198 invasive alien plants listed on the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act No 43 of 1983) (CARA) which is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

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. 

Follow Invasive Species South Africa on Twitter: @InvasivesZA

Follow us on Facebook.


Joburg City Parks and Zoo celebrated National Invasive Species Week on Wednesday 7 October, 2015 with a high profile event in Mondeor, Johannesburg. During a one day blitz, teams from Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), Working for Water (WfW) and Joburg City Parks cleared a riverine area in a suburban park removing dense thickets of wattle and bugweed. See our gallery of images taken on the day.

Do you manage a municipality, nature reserve or farm?  Do you need assistance on how to develop an invasive species control plan for the area under your control. On 1 October, 2015, the Biosecurity Unit, Environmental Programmes, Department of Environmental Affairs released a guideline document which will assist custodians and managers of land to embark on a process to document, monitor, control and manage invasive species.

In the countdown to National Invasive Species Week (10-17 October, 2015), the City is asking residents to control invasive plants on their properties. This year’s fire season is only months away, and it is important that property owners work to control invasive plants now to avoid potential loss of property and livelihoods during the approaching fire season.

Friday, 06 November 2015 10:30

SANBI ISP Bursaries and Internships 2016

Biological Invasion bursaries and project development internship applications for 2016 are now open.

Page 2 of 3

General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more