RESIDENTS from Ocean View Squatter Camp in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape are having sleepless nights – thanks to rats.
Things are so bad some residents sleep with their shoes on, while others have abandoned their bedrooms to sleep in the lounge.
Resident Nomvuzo Tshuku (38) told Daily Sun: “We were the first people to establish this squatter camp in 2002. It was an open field full of bushes. We cleaned it and erected our shacks. Since then, we have been terrorised by big rats which are grey and white in colour. They are as big as rabbits.”
She said the rats increased because rubbish was not collected and they are forced to dump it next to their shacks. “The rats come into our houses if they don’t find anything to eat in the rubbish,” she said.
“These rats only want something meaty. They get mad if they find maize meal in the cabinet. They want polony and meat. If there is no meat, they go for a bottle of cooking oil.”
Nomvuzo said the rats also attacked Tupperware and pot lids.
The mother of three said she has abandoned her room.
“My husband and I are not employed and depend on our kids’ child support grants. But we had to leave our room because these rats want to eat us.
“Recently my daughter (4) spilled gravy on her jacket and fell asleep. The rats ate her jacket while she was sleeping,” she said.
Community leader Nomathamsanqa Mwilana said: “We dig holes to dump rubbish next to our shacks. The rats used to get food in the rubbish. But there are a lot of pigs which eat from the rubbish, hence the rats are coming for us in our houses.”
Ward councillor Sindiswa Makasi said the housing development project and water and sanitation project in the area has been delayed since 2009 by procurement processes in the Department of Human Settlements.