Durban – Traders in the City centre say their businesses and health have been affected by the huge rat population that has continued to grow because of uncollected rubbish on the streets.
They say there has been an overall decline in business and tourism while the condition of buildings has also deteriorated. Areas popular with hawkers such as Warwick Junction Market, Mahatma Gandhi precinct, Berea and Durban Workshop taxi ranks as well as bus terminals have been most affected.
Pinky Nyathela, who trades at the Warwick Junction Market, said the number of rats had tripled since she began trading in 2016. “There are more rats than usual and they are becoming bigger. They are not scared of people, they look straight at you,” she said.
Health experts said the rat infestation posed a great risk which could “explode” if not brought under control.
“The city hasn’t been very good in dealing with this problem. Rats can spread over 35 diseases and carry a