Western Cape allocates R55M to ecological infrastructure
Tomorrow, 17 June 2022, is commemorated as World Desertification and Drought Day.
This year's theme is healthy land equals healthy people. This focus is on transforming degraded land into healthy land to promote community and ecosystem resilience while improving human life, particularly in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.
Avoiding slowing and reversing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems are essential for a swift recovery from the pandemic and guaranteeing the long-term survival of people and the planet.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture's River Protection Project is an effective risk reduction measure in rivers that recent floods have negatively impacted. These interventions involve stabilizing the riverbanks, preventing further soil erosion of the river banks and improving ecosystem functioning.
For this reason, the Department has set aside R37 million for restoring ecological Infrastructure and R18.5 million for river protection planned along the Keurboom, Jan du Toits, and Upper Hex rivers.
Last year I handed over three river protection works (Holsloot Weir near Rawsonville and the Meerlustkloof and Meul Projects near Genadendal) to the respective water users associations.
Built at the cost of R69million, Holsloot Weir, for example, responds to the severe damage caused by flooding, alien invasive plants, and damaging ecological maintenance performed within the river.
Restoring ecological infrastructure increases agricultural productivity, socio-ecological resilience, improved water security and job creation.