New invasive ‘species’ on Hartbeespoort Dam – plastic!

“I live alongside the dam and every time I see a photo like this, I cringe. I cannot get used to this although I see it every day.”

Hartbeespoort Dam as seen by visitors the past weekend.

As if it is not enough that Hartbeespoort Dam has been suffocating under invasive species such as hyacinth, and lately the new invasive salvinia weed, it is now drowning in plastic and other debris covering the surface of the dam. The amount of refuse pollution on the dam has not been seen before and is a big concern to residents around the dam, as well as environmentalists.

Visitors to Hartbeespoort has expressed their shock about the pollution on various social media platforms the past weekend tourists flocked to Hartbeespoort.

“Sis! It is a disgrace… I won’t show this photo to the rest of the world… an absolute disgrace!” one post reads.
“Disgusting. No other words…”

“Embarrassed beyond words. What happened to our beautiful Harties?”
A local resident posted “I live alongside the dam and every time I see a photo like this, I cringe. I cannot get used to this although I see it every day.”

Various conservation groups have been actively fighting the pollution of the Hennops River with clean-up operations the past months. The source of the current pollution of Hartbeespoort Dam is not clear.

While the Centre for Biological Control of Rhodes University is currently breeding a weevil to control the salvinia invasion on the dam, the litter pollution is not receiving any attention… except by shocked visitors to this popular tourist destination.