The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town, Parow, Strand

Free Training to Combat Spread of Destructive Tree Beetle

Michael Hawthorne

In response to the growing threat of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer beetle (PSHB) in various suburbs, the City of Cape Town is taking proactive measures by offering free training sessions to both formal and informal businesses involved in handling trees and plant material.

The invasive PSHB beetle has become a significant concern for the city, with a total of 249 sightings reported in suburbs such as Newlands, Rondebosch, Mowbray, Claremont, Kenilworth, and Observatory along the Liesbeek River by January 31, 2024. In the Helderberg area, over 4,832 infested trees have been sighted since 2019, posing a serious threat to the urban forest of Cape Town.

The City’s initiative aims to educate businesses and residents on how to identify infested trees, and manage, and transport beetle-infested biomass effectively. The training sessions, to be held in Parow, Strand, and Masiphumelele, are open to all residents and businesses involved in working with plant material.

The training sessions will take place as follows:

Officials from the City’s Invasive Species Unit will lead the sessions, providing essential information on the PSHB beetle, its spread, the threat it poses, and recorded infestations in Cape Town. Residents and businesses are encouraged to RSVP by sending an email to, indicating the number of attendees and the preferred venue.

Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews, emphasized the importance of community involvement, stating, “We need the support and collaboration of residents and businesses working with plant material to prevent the spread of the pest.”

The training will cover various aspects, including how to identify infested trees, symptoms to look out for, and proper handling and disposal of infested biomass. The City urges all residents and businesses, particularly those with trees on private property, to attend the sessions to empower themselves with the knowledge needed to protect their gardens responsibly.

To report PSHB beetle sightings, residents can visit, call 021 444 2357, or send an email to The City also provided guidelines on what to do if an infested tree is identified, emphasizing the importance of responsible disposal to prevent further spread. The City aims to respond within 10 working days to verify reported sightings, depending on the volume of reports received.

The initiative underscores the City of Cape Town’s commitment to environmental preservation and the active involvement of the community in safeguarding the region’s trees and green spaces.

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