As massive swarms of locusts fly across the Northern Cape, the provincial government has urged members of the public to remain calm.
This, as the department of agriculture, environmental affairs, rural development and land reform are inundated with calls from panicked members of the public.
Mase Manopole, the MEC, says although locust swarms can cause great destruction on farmlands, they are not harmful for people.
Currently, an army of brown locusts are flying over various towns with some even freaking havoc on children’s playing areas.
Manopole says the outbreak in various parts of Northern Cape districts, including Pixley Ka Seme and ZF Mgcawu, are exacerbated by recent heavy rainfalls. Locusts are now also spotted in new districts.
Current strong winds
“The control measures are currently being implemented to curb the new spread of the locusts in Namakwa, John Taolo Gaetsewe and Frances Baard. The current strong winds are supporting the flight and spread of the locusts, especially into our dwellings,” says Manopole.
“Unfortunately, we are prohibited by law to control the spread in our dwellings because of the nature of chemical(s) we are using. However, we urge members of the public to chase the locusts away when they are spotted in their yards and also to switch off their outside lights at night.”
Manopole further called on farmers and farmer organisations to alert her department whenever they spot these locusts.
It is imperative that they work with government officials on the ground to try and curb the spread.
Farmers and members of the public can report locust swarms to any of the following officials: Mulalo Matodzi on 083 326 7773, Vuyokazi Mpumlwana on 084 760 8176 and Dr Ikalafeng Kgakatsi on 072 198 9882.