A plague of brown locusts has descended upon several major towns in the Northern Cape, and regions that share a border with Free State. Local authorities have urged residents to remain calm, but with the scale of disruption to farming and everyday life escalating, public officials accept that they now have a real problem on their hands.

Locust swarms ‘causing chaos’ in the north-west

Mase Manopole is the Agricultural MEC for the Northern Cape. She is asking farmers to work with the department in order to identify where these outbreaks are happening. However, it also seems that personal responsibility is being encouraged.

According to Manopole, the locusts can be chased away by humans – and something as simple as shutting off your outside lights when it goes dark goes a long way towards clearing these nuisances away. The MEC elaborated further:

“The current strong winds are supporting the flight and spread of the locusts, especially into our dwellings. However, we urge members of the public to chase the locusts away when they are spotted in their yards – and we also encourage everybody to switch off their outside lights at night.”

Northern Cape ‘overwhelmed’ by swarms

At the back end of last year, locusts had gathered en masse in Pixley Ka Seme, wreaking havoc across Britstown, Hanover, Colesburg, and Noupoort. However, it has become apparent that this problem is being felt in most corners of the Northern Cape. In total, there are eight regions that have been badly affected by these swarms.

KathuUpingtonKimberley De AarPrieskaKurumanSpringbokParts of the Pixley Ka Seme Municipality

Swarms of locusts are destroying the crops of under-resourced farmers around Kathu in the Northern Cape. The locusts were first spotted in areas of the Pixley Ka Seme Municipality which include Britstown, Hanover, Noupoort and Colesburg, last year. #sabcnews

— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) May 15, 2021 The South African