MEC Mase Manopole has called on land owners to allow the Department’s brown locust controllers access to their farms.
This call comes as the brown locusts’ plague increases to 37 small towns in the Northern Cape Province- with hotspots in Poffader (in the Namakwa District) and Hanover and De Aar (Pixley ka Seme District).
Reports of the outbreak started after the Province received good rains in October.
Manopole said that with the brown locust swarm being at the third hopper stage, about to fly in the next 20-25 days, if not controlled, most of the grazing land and vegetation will be lost.
“We have a challenge of unoccupied or neglected farms where land owners are not available or refuse entrance to our locust controllers. This poses a serious challenge in controlling the spread of the swarm and running a risk of losing more vegetation and grazing land. We are still recuperating from the effects of drought which have lasted more than a decade,” said Manopole.
Manopole further indicated that some of the farmers are not reporting the locust outbreaks in their farms.
“This causes a problem as it is very difficult to control the locust once they fully grown and flying about.”
Manopole made a heartfelt request to all land owners to work together with the Department to further reduce more outbreaks, in order to ensure food security in the Province.
“The policy for managing the locust problem in South Africa is clear that all areas are subjected to locust control measures, although certain areas like dwelling places will be excepted from such measures. However, other effective control measures will have to be applied there to the satisfaction of all relevant parties,” she said
The Department has so far trained one thousand and thirty-four (1034) people to control the scourge.