Copesville family have to ‘shoo away’ infestation of rats

Rats and snakes are breeding under rubble which is yet to be cleared since a truck ploughed through a Copesville home last year.

Neighbours are now complaining that their homes are being infested with large rodents, which are causing serious health concerns.

In November last year, a truck veered off Bhambatha Road and crashed into the small house on Kyanite Close, reducing it to rubble.

The wreckage — nothing more than rubble, damaged furniture and broken toilet cisterns — is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac. The house was provided to the family who lived there by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements.

Dorry Moodley, a pensioner who lives right next door to the wreckage with his wife, daughter and four-year-old granddaughter, said he had to shoo away rodents on a daily basis.

He said he had noticed rats breeding right outside his property.

“I saw a snake right outside my door last week and had to kill it with a spade,” he told The Witness.

“We have to have the doors closed all day. If just one rat comes in and we’re un­able to take it out, we will have a big problem. Worse if it was a snake.”

Moodley, who has lived in the house for more than 25 years, said he has had to put up with the infestation for nearly a year now.

“It’s not right that we have to live like this. It’s also an eyesore.”

Another resident said: “There are lots of children in this area and people have pets.

“This [the rodents] gives us serious hygiene concerns, and now we have to buy pesticides to deal with them.”

The area’s ward councillor, Spha Madlala, who lives on the same road, said he had made several efforts to get all parties to intervene.

“The family that used to live here are now in a temporary house until this one is rebuilt.”

KZN Human Settlements spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi, however, said the department could not intervene in the issue.

“It becomes a civil matter in a case like this, where there is an issue of reckless driving.

“The department will only intervene when there is an act of God that destroys the property.”

He advised the home owners and the community to seek legal advice about getting the rubble cleared.