Today's Big Stories

City halts use of powerful herbicide in Noordhoek amid probe

The City of Cape Town has suspended the spraying of a powerful herbicide in the Noordhoek and Kommetjie area while they investigate.

Concerned locals complained that herbicide, Kilo Max, was widely sprayed in ecologically sensitive areas.

They claim the herbicide was used during the breeding season of the endangered Western Cape leopard toad.

EWN's Monique Mortlock reports that this is not the first time that the herbicide has been used to treat weeds in the area.

Some environmental and amphibian experts claim the herbicide is sprayed at a safe enough distance to avoid potential harm to the toads.

At the same time, poison expert Dr Gerhard Verdoorn says the granular form of the herbicide reduces its potential toxicity to wildlife and other animals.

Noordhoek ward councillor Felicity Purchase says usually the weed killer is only sprayed in June.

But instead, it has been applied in August, which falls within the breeding months of the endangered species.

Purchase says that this manner of killing weeds in the Southern Areas has been used for about 20 years as far as she knows.

Monique Mortlock, EWN reporter

Meanwhile, the safety of workers has come into question as pictures taken by residents show contract employees handling the herbicide without any protective gear such as gloves or face masks.

Listen the full conversation:

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