The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is confirming the detection of male specimens of Bactrocera invadens in the Vhembe district in the northern part of Limpopo and Enhlanzeni district in Mpumalanga Province. The affected areas are the Limpopo River border area from Pontdrift border post to Beitbridge border post, bordering both Botswana and Zimbabwe; the Musina town residential area; the Tshipise area which is approximately 40km south east from Beitbridge and the Louis Trichardt town residential area which is approximately 95km south from the Beitbridge border post. The affected area in the Mpumalanga Province is the Burgershall area. The identifications are confirmed by an internationally recognized fruit fly taxonomist.
The NPPO of South Africa initiated delimiting surveys in the areas after the first detections and phytosanitary actions were implemented with immediate effect to manage the movement of fruit from the area under delimitation. Actions to eradicate these areas commenced after the detection of a second adult fruit fly in each of the affected areas. Bilateral communications with the relevant NPPOs in this regard are underway.
The Limpopo River border quarantine area is approximately 100km long and is subdivided into three major areas, namely the Pondrift area, Weipe area and Beitbridge area. The first detections occurred next to the Limpopo River on 15 February 2012 in the Beitbridge area, 29 March 2012 in the Weipe area and 29 February 2012 in the Pontdrift area. The second detections occurred on 03 April 2012 in the Beitbridge area, 05 April 2012 in the Weipe area and 05 April 2012 in the Pontdrift area. The first detection in the Musina town was on 09 February 2012 and the second on 15 February 2012.
The first detection in the Tshipise area was on 23 January 2012 and the second on 11 April 2012. The first positive specimen in the Mpumalanga Province was detected on 02 April 2012 and the second on 19 April 2012. The first detection in the Louis Trichardt area was on 21 February 2012 and the second on 10 April 2012. Eradication has been initiated in all of these areas.
The South African National exotic fruit fly surveillance project started in 2006. A network of fruit fly traps was deployed as an early warning system to detect exotic fruit flies. Traps were placed in production areas, alongside road transects at ports of entry and in urban areas close to municipal garbage dumps, hotels, sports grounds and other strategic places countrywide.
Since the establishment of Bactrocera invadens in northern Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique as well as in the territories of several other African trading partners, surveillance has been intensified especially alongside the northern borders of South Africa. The fruit industry was recognized as a key role player to assist with the surveillance. Subsequently, Citrus Research International (CRI), Citrus Growersâ€™ Association (CGA), Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT/ Hortgro), South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and the Subtropical Growers Association became part of the official national exotic fruit fly detection survey. Bactrocera invadens has been detected in eight areas in South Africa, since May 2010 and has been successfully eradicated in seven areas, with eradication initiated in the 8th area (Groblersbrug).