Invasive alien plants have a negative impact on ecosystem goods and services derived from ecosystems.
Consequently, the aggressive spread of invasive alien plants (IAPs) in the river catchments of South Africa
is a major threat to, inter alia, water security. The Olifants River catchment is one such a catchment that is
under pressure because of the high demand for water from mainly industrial sources and unsustainable
land-use, which includes IAPs. This study considered the cost-effectiveness of clearing IAPs and compared
these with the cost of a recently constructed dam. The methods used for data collection were semistructured
interviews, site observation, desktop data analysis, and a literature review to assess the impact of
IAPs on the catchment’s water supply. The outcomes of this study indicate that clearing invasive alien plants
is a cost-effective intervention with a Unit Reference Value (URV) of R1.44/m3, which compares very
favourably with that of the De Hoop dam, the URV for which is R2.93/m3. These results suggest that
clearing invasive alien plants is a cost-effective way of catchment management, as the opportunity cost of
not doing so (forfeiting water to the value of R2.93/m3) is higher than that of protecting the investment in the
Brits, Jacobus Nicolaas(University of Pretoria, 2015)
Water is a scarce and precious natural resource in South Africa. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has been appointed as the custodians of the water in South Africa with Catchment Management Agencies (CMA’s) ...
Mosoa, Moleboheng Wilhelmina(University of Pretoria, 2013)
The paradigm shift in water quality management of South African water resources was based
on current international trends. This significant move was from a previous emphasis on
source management to a focus on finding a ...