Swellendam Municipality withholds use of glyphosate-based herbicides in Barrydale for 12 months


BARRYDALE – In recent times much has been written and reported in the media about an herbicide called Roundup. The active ingredient in most formulations of Roundup is a chemical called glyphosate. Roundup has been on the market in excess of 40 years, and is typically used by farmers to control weeds and grasses, in fields, before planting. Municipalities also use it to control weeds and grass in public areas; like pavements and road reserves.

Allegations have been made about the possible carcinogenic impact of the product, i.e. that it may be responsible for causing cancer in human beings.

Environmental agencies and health regulators world-wide such as the European Food Safety Association (EFSA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not been able to find evidence that glyphosate-based herbicides are detrimental to human health, or that it causes cancer. CropLife SA has advocated that glyphosate products’ label instructions need to be strictly adhered to for effective pest management and minimum impact (if any) on human health and the environment.

Swellendam Municipality has however received a petition from concerned citizens in Barrydale, one of the towns within the municipal boundaries of Swellendam, suggesting an outright ban on the municipal use of the product. Swellendam Mayor, Nicholas Myburgh and Deputy Mayor Michael Pokwas, recently met with Mr. Shane Petzer, a Barrydale community member, who has been at the forefront of efforts to ban Roundup in Barrydale.

After careful consideration the Municipality of Swellendam has decided to withhold the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in Barrydale for a period of one year, with immediate effect. This applies to municipal officials in the exercise of their official duties, and does not impact on what private individuals do.

In South Africa, neither health nor agricultural authorities have expressed any reservations about the use of the product.

For enquiries please contact:
Bianca McKechnie
Senior Media & Communications Officer
(Office of the Municipal Manager)
+27 28 514 8500

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