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70% of South African soil is threatened by erosion: need for a strategic approach

Erosion Control - za

Limpopo and Eastern Cape provinces are the most-hit. Human activity and natural geomorphology, combined together, menace infrastructures and agricultural production

South Africa is highly exposed to soil erosion. It is a common phenomenon in countries that have a natural predisposition, soil conformation and geomorphology, but human activity is another variable that can highly increase risks and damages of erosion. 70% of the country’s surface has somehow been affected by this issue.

Specifically, according to the South African Journal of Science (SAJS), poor farming has been a key element, leading to extensive damage. This is a vicious circle: erosion causes loss of topsoil, reduction of soil productivity and economic loss.

Open data show that there is an increasing interest, among web surfers, about this phenomenon in South Africa. Interestingly, there is a strong correlation between Google Trend’s data and the analysis performed by SAJS: both analyses show that the Limpopo Province and Eastern Cape are the most-hit by erosion, while Northwest seems to be less affected.

But there is something more: data show that users search for “erosion” during the summer, probably suggesting that they are concerned about what is going to happen as the rains approach.

Topsoil loss is one of the main issues threatening agriculture throughout South Africa, receiving therefore attention by policy-makers. First, erosion must be monitored, but it also needs to be prevented and addressed with specific solutions.
Territories need to be secured and prepared before the unpredictable climate brings catastrophic consequences that cannot be managed with contingency plans.

Local authorities need to play a role but also need to be advised by reliable and valued experts. This is a crucial point: too frequently, contractors spend inefficiently taxpayer money performing inaccurate works, sometimes simply because they just lack the necessary know-how, which necessarily is brought by long-time consolidated international experience.

Maccaferri is a recognized leader in the erosion control market, worldwide. Based in South Africa and Nigeria, we provide the continent with specific and internationally valued know-how, products and solutions aimed at coping with erosion issues, drainage, flooding and water management (for an example, click here).

Maccaferri is far more than just a civil engineering firm: we also provide advice and tailored software in order to design long lasting, sustainable and budget-friendly infrastructural projects.

For more info, please contact us!

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