CRR Updates

Reports from the Veld

This page was last updated on 25 February 2023.

Riverside Estate

In October 2022, a highly successful training session was conducted at Jakkalsdans. Seven landowner employees attended, along with a landowner from Roodekrans. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with employees expressing their satisfaction with the level of information provided, and their newfound knowledge of invasive plant species, beyond just the Pompom weed. They felt empowered to understand how to mix the herbicide formula with ease and all requested the necessary equipment for measuring.

This year, there was a significant win, as one of the new landowners cleared Pompom on their 21-hectare property, effectively spreading the important message. At Riverside Estate, 50% of landowners now take action against their Pompom infestation, and of those, approximately 50% regularly control it effectively and at the correct time frame (early November when the plants are small). Many landowners perform clearing work too late when the flowers have already bloomed. The lack of training is evident, as people are regularly seen walking around with beautiful pink bridal bouquets, spreading the seeds everywhere. Seed heads must be cut and placed in a tightly tied plastic bag for later disposal.

Surrounding neighbors with vast tracts of land adjacent to Riverside Estate do very little to eradicate Pompom, despite several alerts and requests for cooperation, making life very difficult for the teams working tirelessly. Although not a panacea, biological control seems to be one way we can limit seed production and, thus, the spread of the weed. In collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), we propose starting a breeding facility for the thrips used against Pompom in the 2023/24 growing season.

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(North-West, Lazy River Rd)

The Unit Manager conducted a major effort in Pompom removal this season in areas in Hennops, and this has been the most successful one over previous years.

Some landowners sponsored and others loaned their spraying equipment, a bakkie, a water tank and labour for clearing the roadsides on Lazy River Road. A team of 6 worked early morning and late afternoon, 3 being trained to do spraying of herbicide, and 3 following to clear. An excess of 150 bags of Pompom heads were collected and burnt and 13 participating properties shared the cost of R20 800.

In Hennops East, there has been relative success in removing Pompom, with the exception of smallish spots which they are aware of, and plan to clear them. They have contacted landowners to participate. If there is no response, they get on with it themselves. We cannot stress the importance of this work.

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Doornrandje And Roodekrans

Many of the CRR Members in Doornrandje and Roodekrans regularly clean their properties of Pompom every year, and there is constant communication shared in the area on the assistance that is available to all to tackle this very challenging issue. Oakview Gardens, a landscaping company of one of the landowners in Doornrandje does sterling work and assists with herbicide distribution and also clearing of properties on request.

One of the biggest challenges in the Doornrandje area is the large area of Government land that is sometimes attended to by the GDARDE.

But often, this is too late in the day to have long-term results. A landowner in Rietfontein refused to just watch the problem “grow”, and instead cleared huge areas of the Government land on their own initiative and expense. Hundreds of bags of Pompom are removed every year, bagged and burnt. They don’t only do this on the Government land, but also on absent landowner properties.


The team fighting against Pompom in Vlakfontien has now finished its 6th consecutive season. This season was by far the toughest. Work started on 22 October and only finished on 27 January, by which time we were all completely fed-up with Pompom. 255 hectares over 12 properties were treated over 57 days and 439 man-days were worked. Wages totalling R26 400 were paid into the local community.

Each year we have been able to improve the effectiveness of the work and do more hectares with less effort and less herbicide. When last year gave us a 30% improvement on 2021, and we were able to finish 230ha in 260 man-days with just over half the herbicide we had used the season before, we thought we were getting the hang of this. However, we had a rude awakening. By December, it became obvious that it was last year that was the anomaly. This year was tough. As tough as any of us can remember. Nature has her own cycles and rhythms, and they do not always follow the linear progression we would like to see. It is us who are going to have to learn to adapt. But we take heart since the overall trend is still positive.

Last year the work was completed in 34 days. This year it took 57 days, the longest we have ever spent. The early rains seem to have had two effects. The plants grew bigger, faster, and earlier than any other year, and we lost 10 days of spraying time to the persistent rain that fell during November and December.
This meant we were still working all January when the plants were bigger and more established. So, it took more herbicide. That meant carrying more water and heavier loads for longer. The team really earned their money this season.

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the six landowners who carried the cost of this season’s effort and contributed over R58 000 to the fight.

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