City of Choice for rats

2017-06-19 13:45
Piles of rubbish found on the corner of Failsworth and Manchester roads.INSET: Rubbish strewn on Stella Road, near the Olympic Swimming Pool.

Piles of rubbish found on the corner of Failsworth and Manchester roads.INSET: Rubbish strewn on Stella Road, near the Olympic Swimming Pool. (Supplied)

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A City of Choice or a City of Rats?

Residents are calling on the municipality to take illegal dumping and uncollected rubbish seriously, “or else we will be chased out by the rats”.

Heaps of rubbish are found on a daily basis at the corner of Failsworth and Manchester roads and now business owners in the vicinity say they cannot take the rodent-infested area any longer.

The local business owners are also accusing the City’s fathers of double standards, saying that street vendors have their rubbish collected for free while businesses have to pay for the service.

“The worst part is that they [street vendors] have the most rubbish that needs to be collected,” said one of the business people from the area.

He said their calls to the municipality have fallen on deaf ears and now their businesses sit in a hazardous zone because of the blatant failure to take action.

“Would the municipality like for all this rubbish to be dumped outside City Hall? No, and it would be picked up in an instant but why do they allow this rubbish to sit outside our businesses?” asked the businessman.

He said his clothing business nearby is now dealing with a rodent infestation and he has been “out of pocket” for months as he pays for pest control services more regularly than usual.

“It’s a haven for rodents and a health hazard. If the local health inspectors take a look they will find left over food from the street food vendors rotting in the rubbish heap,” said another businessman.

He said that street vendors preparing food for passers-by and employees in the area, are preparing the food under unhygienic conditions on the sidewalk.

Another hot spot for illegal dumping and rodent infestation is the Old Greytown Road approaching Albert Falls.

Heaps of rubbish will be found on any given day on the road and since it remains uncollected for months on end, the rubbish only piles up on top of more rubbish.

The situation has got “out of hand”, said Calvin Govender, who runs the iPot seed bank non-profit organisation nearby.

On inspecting the site recently, Govender said he found toxic asbestos roofing as well as fibreglass shards along with other non-decomposable waste.

All this is ruining the adjacent wetland and is a contravention of environmental laws, he said.

“While Durban’s green lung project breathes deeply, sleepy hollow chokes its streetlight vagrants who struggle for food,” Govender said.

Numerous pest control businesses in Pietermaritzburg said the rodent problem has most definitely increased and mostly due to illegal dumping and uncollected rubbish drowning the city.

One pest control business owner, who did not want to be named, said the pest control business has grown significantly due to the increase in activity of rodents and other scavengers.

“We are called out all day and sometimes have a waiting list of residents and business owners needing our services.

“I am not complaining about the business but we have definitely seen an increase in the need for us recently,” he said.

Another area of concern is Stella Road, behind the Olympic Swimming Pool. Rubbish is strewn across the street there leaving nearby business people to clean up the area to ensure their customers have places to park their vehicles.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  witness warrior

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