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WATCH: Upsurge of brown locusts in NC a cause for concern

The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development has noted calls from members of the public on the upsurge of the flying brown locust outbreak in various towns of the Northern Cape Province.

This is as a result of hoppers in the province reaching a flying stage, and an uncontrollable influx of the swarm (flyers) which have crossed borders from Namibia into Northern Cape, through areas such as Poffader, Pela, Onseepkans, Noeniput, Askham, Springbok and Blad-grond.

The swarm was also spotted in the interior parts of the province, such as Upington, Kakamas, Keimoes, Sutherland and Colesberg.

“So far, we can indicate that the locust outbreak is in a manageable state, with few flyers that have invaded some households.

“Even though the Department has managed to control the swarm, with the recent rains we received, there is a high possibility that we can receive a huge outbreak as we already started receiving new generation in Springbok, Askham, Blad-grond and Sutherland,” says MEC Mase Manopole.

The challenge with the flyers and the control time is that they can move from one area to the other in a short space of time, based on the available grazing fields and vegetation.

Manopole continues to call on the members of the public, especially those who are driving on the roads, to be cautious when driving through a locust swarm – as this can obstruct their ability to see.

She further called on farm owners to allow controllers access to their farms.  “I would like to thank our officials, controllers and our farmers as well as various stakeholders for their continued support to curb the spread. Without their contribution our food security will be at risk. Most importantly, I will also like to thank our communities who continue to alert us of new outbreaks that are taking place in their respective areas. Together we will be able to defeat the scourge,” said the MEC.

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