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JHB urges cleanliness to avoid rats

This follows the hospitalisation of a one-month-old baby that was bitten by rats in Alexandra.

A polluted street on Alexandra's 1st avenue. The township is infested by rats and they are wreaking havoc in the area. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg on Sunday said adequate public hygiene practices are the only way that rodent infestations will be managed.

A one-month-old baby from Alexandra is currently under medical observation at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital after three of her fingers and part of her nose were bitten by rats.

The city says it often receives reports of this nature from areas like Alexandra which is known for its disturbingly large rat population.

Programmes have already been put in place to eradicate rat populations across Johannesburg but the city's Peter Manganye says current public health initiatives will only be fully successful with the cooperation of the public.

"Look at the clutter that we keep in the backyards, the refuse material and mismanagement of waste and waste water and food leftovers. We urge communities to be clean. This is the best way to keep them at bay."