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Plans to root out JHB's rats welcomed

The City of Johannesburg has allocated R2.5 million to assist areas like Alexandra and Diepsloot.

MMC of Health and Social Development Nonceba Malwele addresses the media in Alexandra about Johannesburg's rat problem on 30 September 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, have welcomed local government's renewed efforts to fight, what's been called Gauteng's rodent epidemic.

Earlier today, the City of Johannesburg announced that it has allocated R2.5 million to assist areas like Alexandra, Johannesburg's inner city and Diepsloot in combatting rat infestations.

Several babies and small children have been the victims of rat bites in Gauteng over the last few months, the most recent resulting in the death of a four-month-old baby in Diepsloot last month.

Alexandra residents say they can't enjoy a simple meal without having to fight off rats.

Residents said they are relieved that government is stepping up its war against the rodents.

Measures include the promotion of owls and natural predators, gassing rat burrows with carbon dioxide and catching rats in cages.

Since the rat cage project was launched in 2012, 30,000 rats have been captured in Alexandra alone,

The project has since been expanded to seven other regions.

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