Durban – Residents in Manor Gardens, Umbilo, Glenwood and parts of Overport have been dealing with an influx of rats and flies in recent weeks.
A local pest control services’ owner said he has been inundated with calls from the areas to come and set traps for rats. He said in some instances, the rats are hiding in people’s home.
Manor Gardens CPF chairperson, Janus Horn, said there has been an increase in rats and flies.
He said the main reason is the lack of service delivery in the Cato Crest informal settlement.
“If you look, you’ll see that refuse just piles up until the pile is bursting over before it gets collected or residents set it on fire. In another road, there is a bank where garbage gets thrown and once a year, the City will come and clean it up. It is definitely time that we find solutions to the problem," he said.
Horn said they are told that trucks are broken and many times, a standby truck is used and doesn't have the right capacity so only half the load is collected, while the rest is picked up later.
“The grass is also left to grow and people dump. If we had proper service delivery, we could eliminate these problems. If you have a rat infestation, it could become a major health risk. I just hope that the grass gets cut and cleared, and that litter gets picked up,” Horn said.
Heather Roos of the Bulwer Safety & Urban Regeneration Forum, said they are struggling to get residents to stop dumping illegally. She said another issue is residents leave their dirt out on the wrong days.
“You find that they also use the wrong colour bags. This means these bags lie on the roads for hours or days and then rubbish-pickers come to sift through the bags, leaving dirt strewn all over the road. This leave a huge mess,” she lamented.
Roos said the only way to stop illegal dumping is to take legal action.
Glenwood councillor, Sakhile Mngadi, has done just that.
Mngadi said a summons was issued to people caught illegally dumping in Rick Turner (Francois) Road.
The accused is set to appear in court soon.
“Let this be a warning to all, if you dump in ward 33, we will find you, and you will be charged,” he warned.