NO MORE BAOBAB BLUES
When these giant trees stand in the path of road construction, SANRAL makes a plan to move them safely to a new home
THE N1 national route links South Africa with the rest of Africa and forms part of one of the country’s largest road networks. In Limpopo, the highway roared right through the heart of Musina, resulting in congestion and the risk of collisions, so SANRAL committed to rerouting the highway to a ring road around the town. Unfortunately, a large number of
baobabs, the sacred and environmentally protected trees, stood in the path of the proposed route.SANRAL called in environmental experts and experienced tree movers to help them with the gargantuan task of moving these giants – a single baobab can weigh between 20 and 80 tons. Victoria Bota, SANRAL’s Northern Region
Environmental Officer, said: “We want to minimise or avoid adverse environmental impact.” The roads agency acquired a permit from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry that comes with certain requirements. “Instead of cutting down the trees, if we can, we relocated them to an area that’s not affected by the construction,” said Bota.