Northern Cape towns in grip of brown locust outbreak

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Children being pestered by locusts during a soccer match in Galeshewe, Kimberley (Zandisile Luphahla)
Children being pestered by locusts during a soccer match in Galeshewe, Kimberley (Zandisile Luphahla)
Zandisile Luphahla
  • Residents of some Northern Cape towns need not panic over clouds of brown locusts.   
  • People should just chase the insects away - and switch off outside lights.  
  • The locusts spawn after heavy rains and wreak havoc on vegetation.    

Residents of Northern Cape towns have been asked not to panic over clouds of brown locusts passing through the area.   

People are requested chase away the insects and to switch off outside lights.  

The towns most affected are Upington, Kimberley, De Aar, Prieska, Kuruman, Springbok and Kathu.  

The locusts tend to congregate around houses and sports fields.  

In one instance, locusts swarmed around a children's soccer game.   

ALSO READ | Minister Thoko Didiza announces locust outbreak in parts of South Africa

Agriculture MEC Mase Manopole said the locusts are not harmful to humans, but can destroy vegetation. 

"The current strong winds are supporting the flight and spread of the locusts, especially into our dwellings," said Manopole. 

Control measures are underway - but, because of the type of chemicals used, homes cannot be treated.

"However, we urge members of the public to chase the locusts away when they are spotted in their yards and also to switch off their outside lights at night." 

She also asked farmers and farming organisations to inform the department about which areas the locusts are, and to work with officials on the ground to curb the outbreak.

The numbers are: Mulalo Matodzi on 083 326 7773, Vuyokazi Mpumlwana on 084 760 8176 and Ikalafeng Kgakatsi on 072 198 9882. 

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