Cape Town has launched its "Invasive Species Week" to raise awareness of the 180 alien species present in the area; invasives which include fountain grass, Australian bluebell creeper, yellow water lily and water hyacinth.
"South Africa's ecosystems deliver services- water from catchments, grazing for animals, and other harvested products- that are worth at least R152 billion (around $11 billion USD) annually," said Professor Brian van Wilgen of Stellenbosch University's Centre for Invasion Biology. "Of this value, we currently lose about R6.5 billion (around $500 million USD) every year due to invading alien plants. If we had not conducted control operations in the past, this would have amounted to an estimated additional R41.7 billion."
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