One of the things that contributes to ecosystem degradation in South Africa is invasion by alien plants. This is estimated to cost the nation R6.5 billion annually in damages and the government spends over R400 million annually clearing alien trees. Despite this investment, alien tree invasions continue to increase across the country.
Alien trees threaten biodiversity, increase the risk of more intense and frequent wildfires and also guzzle water. This is an important factor in water scarce regions, like South Africa, that experience droughts.