It has been a very dry winter and the south-easter is already pumping.  Let’s hope that it is not going to be a wild fire summer in the South Peninsula.  Certainly residents and property owners who live in close proximity to dense stands of alien vegetation need to assess their risk.  It is encouraging to see that some land owners are being pro-active and have decided that the short term cost of clearing alien vegetation and the resulting peace of mind is money very well spent.  Just as well as an alien clearing by-law is in the pipeline, so pro-active landowners are saving themselves money by doing the clearing sooner rather than later, and reducing their fire risk.    

  Last week, I met a rather special team of professional alien bush clearers who were in action on the grounds of the False Bay Hospital.  They were hired by a local conservationist to remove Port Jackson and other aliens to make way for the recovering protea strandveld vegetation.  

This team of four are locals (Linda Gxilayo & team members Xolani Sneli, Zukile Ngaye, Lennox Xhosiabantu) who have worked together for a number of years and have extensive knowledge and experience in recognizing alien vegetation and knowing how to eradicate each type.  The core of the team under the leadership of Linda Gxilayo were originally trained as part of the government’s Working for Fire and Working for Water job creation projects.  They are an excellent example of one job does it all. The clearing alien vegetation creates jobs with local skills, significantly reduces the risk of fire  and protects our bio-diversity –  a win for all.    

Reliable, well trained and equipped with tools and herbicide to do a professional job, this team come with excellent references and provide a real solution for people wanting to clear alien vegetation from their land or to clear a fire break around their property.  The team is run as a non-profit venture, and are all paid a living wage.  (Photo below of  Lennox clearing Port Jackson at False Bay Hospital)

 We talk so glibly about the natural beauty of the South Peninsula and the need for appropriate economic opportunities as an alternative to more built development.  Employing people to clear alien vegetation is an investment in our natural capital and in local jobs that add real value.  Feel good about doing the right thing and comply with the alien control by-law.  Contact Linda Gxilayo’s  alien control team on Cell No:  078 409 1018 

 For further information or for references email Glenn Ashton or phone on Cel 083 403 2623.