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Infestation of rats plagues KwaZulu-Natal community

Our Burning Planet


Rat attack: Infestation plagues KwaZulu-Natal community on banks of polluted stream

A community in Umlazi V section is concerned about the pollution in a small stream that is now barely visible due to illegal dumping. (Photo: Lungi Langa)

Residents want the municipality to seal off the stream to prevent illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping in a stream in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, has led to a rat infestation in a nearby community. The community wants eThekwini Municipality to seal off the area to prevent illegal dumping. 

Resident Phathiswa Mazongolo (42) said the banks of the polluted stream had become a breeding ground for rats and that they had discussed the problem with the municipality.

“In one of the meetings with the councillor it was asked if the stream could be sealed off and if they could install one of those big concrete pipes. We also asked if a big rubbish can could be placed in the area… nothing ever happened. People from eThekwini Municipality come by to look at the area, but nothing ever comes out of these visits.”  

Shop owner Ntombi Magubane said she often sees rats in her store, where she sells food and other basic items.  Magubane said some people dump trash in the stream at night.

Qotiyana Nontembeka (37) rents a room in one of the houses near the stream. She said rats had destroyed items in her room, and she often has to throw food away after the rats have been in it.

Thuthukani Gasa (23) said that for at least the last seven years the stream has been a bone of contention between the community and the councillor.  

“Apart from getting rid of the rubbish, we also wished for the area to be sealed off for the safety of the children because the area is not safe. We worry that children might fall into the stream and get hurt. 

“It would be great if the municipality would have made an effort to assist us by sealing the area and putting up boards warning people not to dump.” 

Ethekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said, “There is  intervention that is currently underway in this area. The municipality is trying its level best to ensure that it rids communities of litter.”  

However, he said, they could not succeed without the participation of the community. 

“We are always preaching to communities in eThekwini to work with us and minimise littering, especially in water resources such as rivers and streams. Unfortunately, we are not making huge progress.” DM/OBP

Absa OBP

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