Alien plant species pose a major threat to South Africa’s native biodiversity. It is estimated that more than 9 000 plant species have been introduced so far. Of these, about 198 species are deemed invasive, covering 10 per cent of the country. Since the invasive plants grow by an estimated 5 per cent a year, their presence has dramatic effects on both native species and ecosystems as well as economic activities in the area. In particular, alien plant species generally consume more water than native species, which poses a major problem to many of the country’s ecosystems, agriculture and local economies. In fact, it is estimated that alien plant species consume as much as 7 per cent of South Africa’s total runoff.
From collection: Working for the Environment, South Africa