Rats as big as cats taking over parts of East London

According to the National Health Service, rats carry diseases such as leptospirosis and typhus.
According to the National Health Service, rats carry diseases such as leptospirosis and typhus.
Image: VATHISWA RUSELO/FILE

Rats are running roughshod over the East London CBD.

The rodent explosion has become so bad that even homes beyond the CBD are being overrun, with rats destroying furniture as they seek out food sources.

Hawkers are also complaining that drains and rubbish bins in the city centre have become homes to larger creatures

According to the National Health Service, rats carry diseases such as leptospirosis and typhus.

A vegetable and fruit hawker in Buffalo Street, Mavis Sobetha, said rats had become  a “standard feature” of their daily lives in the CBD.

“These big rodents are everywhere, they are living with us all the time,” she said.

“We see them every day — they are running around like they are also doing some shopping.

“These rats are big, the size of a cat. They are scary and they are not even scared of humans.

“They are living inside the drains and are mostly found in garbage bins around town scavenging for food.”

She said there was the option of poisoning them,  “but l don’t think they will disappear because there are many of them and they are breeding fast.” 

 Amalinda resident Vicky Pelmont, 42, said the drains and garbage bins were attracting rats in the area.

“These rats are so big even cats can’t chase them away. I think the best way to fight these creatures is to fumigate them every month,” she said.

“Every morning you will see them crossing the street hunting for food. They even invade our homes in search of food. I can’t open windows because they just come straight in and cause chaos.”

She said the rats were attracted to the discarded food and rubbish that was left pilling up for days.

“South Africans must learn to keep their areas clean at all times. The government should employ  people who will specifically fight the scourge of rodents in our residential areas.”

Buffalo City spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said steps were being taken by the city to curb the rodent problem across all residential and business areas.

He said this would involve fumigating the fynbos around residential areas as well as drains in the city centre.


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