Recommendations for municipalities to become compliant with national legislation on biological invasions
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Background: The South African National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (No. 10 of 2004) (NEM:BA) requires all Organs of State at all spheres of government to develop invasive species monitoring, control and eradication plans. Municipalities across South Africa are required to comply with the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations under NEM:BA but are faced with myriad challenges, making compliance difficult. Objective: This paper unpacks some of the challenges municipalities face and provides guidance on how to overcome these in order to achieve NEM:BA compliance. Through a strategic, municipal-wide approach involving different landowners, compliance can be achieved and many of the associated challenges can be overcome. For example, lack of awareness and capacity within municipal structures can be addressed through various platforms that have proven successful in some areas. Conclusions: Using the City of Cape Town as a case study, we highlight some of the notable successes in overcoming some of these challenges. For example, the City’s Invasive Species Strategy has resulted in municipal buy-in, departmental collaboration and a city-wide invasive plant tender, allowing for streamlined invasive plant control across the city. We present a framework as a first step towards measuring compliance and how the national status report can measure the level of compliance by Organs of State.