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2011-08-01: City of Johannesburg taking the battle to the rats

Johannesburg is launching an all-out war against rats, rodents and other pests to promote public health and clean- up the environment in which the pests thrive.

The rodents’ eradication campaign starts tomorrow in Alexandra and targeted four areas Alexandra, Orange Farm, Ivory Park and Orlando East. The results will then be evaluated and the programme expanded to cover other areas of the city, plagued by rats.

Community meetings have currently been taking place to mobilize support for the pest control operations and provide information on how rodents can be eliminated in the future.

Officials from the City’s Environmental Health Services are also surveying the areas and identifying rodent hotspots that will receive priority attention.

“We will execute this campaign with military precision,” says Clr Nonceba Molwele, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Human Development in the City of Johannesburg. “With the support of communities we will win this battle.”

The City is very aware of the rat problem and rodent control is one of our public health priorities,” says Molwele. The directorate for Environmental Health is responsible for vector control and is currently operating in all seven regions of the City of Johannesburg to track down and exterminate rodents.

“Prevention is, however, the best solution for rat control,” says Molwele. “We have to eliminate the conditions in which they thrive and for this we need the active co-operation of all residents of Johannesburg.”

Illegal dumping and the careless disposal of food and waste material are the primary causes of rodent infestation.  They attract the creatures and provide them with a comfortable environment to nest and continue breeding.

Johannesburg residents can contribute to the “battle against the rats” by taking a number of practical steps:

Household waste should be wrapped in plastic bags and placed in the waste containers provided by Pikitup. The dustbins must be kept closed.
Dirty dishwater containing scraps of food must not be poured into catch pits or in open spaces. The small pieces of leftover food attract the rats resulting in a much bigger infestation problem over time.
Open spaces, vacant lands and parks should be kept clean from rubble that provides a fertile environment for the rats. Illegal dumping is a serious offence and the city is currently taking strong steps against serial polluters who contravene public health by-laws.
Buildings should be “rat-proofed” to prevent the rodents from gaining access. All holes in exterior walls should be closed off.
Poison baits and other rodenticides can be used to control the population. It is strongly recommended to use bait-dispensers, which prevent accidental ingestion of poison, by domestic animals.
Report to the city’s health department or regional offices any public health nuisance that might contribute towards rodents breeding. Pest Control Operators will be dispatched to get rid of the pests in those particular areas.
The City of Johannesburg is confident that we can beat the rats through our prevention and clean-up operations. But we need the participation and support of all residents to look after their own, immediate environment.”

The campaign will involve stakeholders and interest groups across the community spectrum – including councillors, youth groups, schools, ward committees and city’s departments such as Infrastructure Service, Urban Management and Pikitup.



For more information contact:
Nkosinathi Nkabinde                                       
Communication Specialist                                     
City of Johannesburg Public Liaison Department                            
Tel: (011) 407-6477
Cell: 083 408 7787