By Emily Setona
KESTELL – Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Bea Campbell – Cloete who presides over the community of Kestell and Thlolong township has received numerous complaints from residents that they are noticing rats in the businesses are as well as their homes.
According to Campbell – Cloete the rat infestation is largely attributed to the fact that the Maluti – a – Phofung (MAP) local municipality does not collect the community’s rubbish consistently and there are numerous illegal dumping sites and overgrown areas that are not being cleaned up. “ Despite several engagements with MAP we have received no response and the issue persists. There are a lot of illegal dumping sites in Kestell, with no official dumping or refuse transition sites available in the area,” Campbell – Cloete said.
The presence of vermin such as rats as big as squirrels has led to serious concerns among residents. One resident reported finding many dead rats in their garden after putting out poison to control the infestation, while another resident caught a large rat gnawing at the electrical wires of their vehicle. This has also sparked the concern for the presence of snakes due to this uncontrolled situation with the rats. ” Despite our efforts to clean Kestell through clean – up campaigns the situation does not change because of the illegal dumping sites and this has escalated the situation of the rats where now we need to use poison to reduce the infestation, ” community leader Mike van Rooyen said.
Moses Moloi agreed with van Rooyen when he said that the situation of keeping Kestell clean is not improving despite their efforts as clean-up campaign members.
According to a report by DA councillors, the most concerning issue presented by these rodent infestations is the is the damage to private property and municipal infrastructure the likelihood of electrical fires since these mice and rats like to gnaw at electrical wires. The local municipality had no response to this when the DA tried to engage them on this issue.
Furthermore, these pests carry diseases such as leptospirosis, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and rat – bite fever are spread by rodent fur, urine, and faeces in food products. Rodent allergens may also cause asthma in children living in these rodent infested areas.