A man was issued with a warning after he was found transporting restricted plants without a permit at a roadblock on the N7 in the Northern Cape on Wednesday.
A MIDDLE-aged man was issued with a warning after he was found transporting restricted plants without a permit at a roadblock on the N7 in the Northern Cape on Wednesday.
Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform spokesperson Zandisile Luphahla said the man was found in possession of Crassula and Leipoldta plant species that were indigenous to the Springbok area.
Luphahla added that more than 30 vehicles, including trucks and motorbikes, were stopped and searched during the roadblock on the N7 that was led by the MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Mase Manopole.
She was leading a team of various stakeholders that included the SAPS, the mayor of Kamiesberg Municipality, Susarah Nero, the Speaker, Melvin Cloete, officials from Black Mountain Mine, SanParks, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Namakwa National Park.
The roadblock was held on December 7-8.
“An awareness campaign was launched regarding the illegal poaching of succulent plants, reptiles and amphibians along the N7 Namibian Cape route in Garies in the Namakwa District Municipality. The MEC also held a community meeting in Kharkams.”
Manopole challenged all South Africans, particularly Northern Cape communities, to join hands in preventing the collection, buying and poaching of indigenous plants, animals and reptile species that were threatened or protected in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.
She said the awareness campaign was important, especially since the Province was expecting an influx of tourists to the Namakwa region for the end-year festivities.
“The operation is also in line with the provision of Operation Phakisa.
“The Northern Cape Province is home to a great variety of plant and animal species. Many of these species occur only in our region, through special adaptation over time to survive in a hot and dry landscape. These plants and animals need to be protected at all costs by our communities in and around Namakwa.
“The removal, possession, transport, trade and breeding in indigenous plants and animals, some of which have special protection status, as well as the disturbance of their habitats without a permit is illegal,” she said.