While roads infrastructure development is a social and economic necessity, this must not be at the expense of environmental sustainability. Several plant species – such as aloe arborescens, aloe ferox, aloe maculata, ledebouria floribunda, ledebouria ovatifolia and hypoxis hemerocallidea – growing along the busy N3, have been translocated to a temporary nursery to save them from being destroyed during the upgrading of the Hammarsdale Interchange.
Jason Lowe, SANRAL Eastern Region project manager said, “The plants occupied areas where construction of the new ramps for the interchange was going to occur, and would have been damaged or destroyed by construction machinery and blasting, if they were not removed,” he said.
A plant specialist was engaged to carefully remove the plants, as different plant species require different removal techniques to ensure no damage occurs and to allow for replanting when required.
“The plants were relocated to a temporary nursery where they will be monitored and taken care of until they are replanted back in their original environment. All plants that were removed were carefully replanted in temporary plastic bags, and the plants were grouped according to type of species and will be watered accordingly,” Lowe said.
The plants will remain at the temporary nursery until the construction has been completed, which should be around June 2018.