R2.5-million allocated for Alex rat clean up

28 400 rats have been caught since the introduction of the rat cages, said MMC of Health and Social Development, Clr Nonceba Malwele.

However the 28 400 rats that have been accounted for do not include those that have been killed and eaten by owls.

Malwele was speaking at a media briefing on the City's Interventions to Control the Rodent Infestation.

The City of Joburg has been trying various methods to try and eradicate the rodent problem that has been affecting the city.

Malwele said that their jobs have been made extremely hard as people continue to feed the rats by leaving open dustbins and dirty dishes overnight.

"It is important to consider the conditions that are needed for rodents to multiply and prosper,” he said.

"These conditions include leaking taps and broken water pipes. It is also about feeding the rats food. Household waste and food that is thrown in culverts, open dustbins and dirty dishes," explained Malwele. 

Jonathan Haw of Eco Systems said that rats are successful species and are always looking for food and should they not find food they will eat each other.

After lack of success from introduction of owls and rat cages, City of Joburg has decided to spend more of the R2.5-million allocated to them to come with a different strategy to eradicate the rats.

"This strategy focuses on the effectiveness of biological and cultural control factors. The use of chemicals is only as and when needed and within a minimum," Molwele said.

The municipality will also focus on educating the communities most affected by rodents.

They have started by cleaning dumping sites and arresting those that continue to dump on these sites.

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