The indigenous knowledge of the local community towards weeds and alien invasive plants in the Dinokana area, North-West Province, South Africa
Itholeng, Kebalepile Benedict Itholeng
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The study was undertaken to determine the indigenous knowledge of the local community of the Dinokana Area, including the perception and attitude towards the declared weeds and alien invasive plants (WIP). The study was conducted in the following villages in the Dinokana Area, namely: Dinokana, Borothamadi, Mantsie, Maramage, Ntsweletsoku, Madutle, Matlhase, Ikageleng and Khunotswana. These villages are situated in the district of Lehurutshe within the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality of the North West Province in the Republic of South Africa. The following two methods were used, namely: a questionnaire and a vegetation survey. There were 100 questionnaires, which were divided on the basis of the size of the population per village. Vegetation surveys were done at Maramage and Dinokana Villages. Belt transects of 160m2 and 80m2 were used to carry out the vegetation sampling. The woody components were recorded according to species type, height classes and Tree Equivalent (TE) were calculated through predetermined factors for each height class. The other seven villages were mapped mainly for the individual tree species. The results of the questionnaire indicated a fair knowledge of the occurrences of the declared weeds and alien invasive species in the area with some uses of these plants, such as roof construction. Approximately 56% of the respondents were females and the rests were males. Most of the participants were youth (31%), who were less than 25 years old and 27% were of the age between 26 and 36 years and only 4% of the people were older than 70 years. 45% of the respondents had Grade 8 to 12 while only 9% have higher education qualifications, such as Diploma or a degree. The majority of the people were unemployed (69%). The vegetation survey indicated that there were more Populus canescens than other plant species. Approximately 9.4 ha of the land in Maramage Village were invaded by Populus canescens. The predominant height classes in terms of Tree Equivalent per hectare (TE/ha) was 2 to 3 meters with a density of 34073 TE/ha, followed by trees of more than 4 meters with a density of 61687 TE/ha. In the Dinokana Village, the most prominent species was mainly Opuntia imbricata. Other species identified were Melia azedarach and Lantana camara. These results were compared with the outcome of the questionnaire. The indigenous knowledge rated most of the plants as moderate to heavy infestation (Figure 5.5). Capacity building, awareness raising and co-ordination amongst different Government Departments should be enhanced in order to encourage government efforts.