Hyacinth almost gone, but department cancels tender

It has happened! Water hyacinth cover is below 5% on Hartbeespoort Dam as a result of biological control.

However, it is now imperative to get rearing stations up and running to keep the Megamelus bug going over the winter months so thousands can be released again as soon as water hyacinth comes back from seed in spring, the Centre for Biological Control at the Rhodes University said this week.

In the meantime, the CBC has had bad news as their funding was pulled and a tender to continue with the programme was cancelled by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DFFE).

“Unfortunately, our tender application with DFFE was cancelled so we are unable to fund this important work and we will be relying on stakeholders around the dam to keep the biocontrol programme going with our support and expertise.” This means if stakeholders around the Hartbeespoort Dam do not step in to keep the programme afloat, there will be no measures going forward to keep the hyacinth problem under control.

For more information on how to keep the programme going, contact Julie Coetzee on julie.coetzee@ru.ac.za.