Spring clean time for weeds

2015-09-15 06:00
Overgrown weeds on sidewalks and in roads around the Peninsula will be eradicated when the City of Cape Town embarks on pesticide spraying over the next few months. 

Samantha lee

Overgrown weeds on sidewalks and in roads around the Peninsula will be eradicated when the City of Cape Town embarks on pesticide spraying over the next few months. PHOTO: Samantha lee

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With the turn of the weather gardens are blooming, but with this also comes the weeds.

In the next month or two the City of Cape Town will embark on getting rid of weeds in public areas.

“Weed spraying is essential in maintaining the city’s sidewalks and road infrastructure as the weeds grow into the road surface, breaking up the seals and asphalt. The majority of potholes form when water penetrates the asphalt due to the cracking of the road’s asphalt surfacing. Weed spraying is thus part of our preventative maintenance programme and saves the City a significant amount in costly repair work,” says Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport.

The weed spraying will take place across eight districts up to mid-October.

The spraying is done by contractors who are registered to spray glyphosate and simazine. Simazine prevents seeds from sprouting and is effective for up to four months. Glyphosate targets the plant and the effects may be visible within one to three weeks, depending on the type of weed.

“We are targeting weeds and grass growing along the edges of the roads, on footways or within the road reserve. Weed spraying is the most effective way of getting rid of the plants as it eradicates the weed at its roots. The machinery used for cutting grass would damage the road infrastructure and does not kill the weeds, meaning they grow back within a matter of weeks,” Herron says.

“Weed spraying is done twice a year, with the first cycle in September/October and the second cycle in March/April the following year. We have budgeted approximately R5m for this programme. I am confident that this is money well spent as it will lead to significant savings in future repair work to our roads and sidewalks,” says Herron.

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