October 31, 2012
South Africans offered free phone for every 60 rats caught
Residents of a Johannesburg suburb have been offered a deal unavailable in the era of the Pied Piper – a free mobile phone for every resident who catches 60 of the rodents. The Guardian and Mail Guardian report via WMMNA.
The township of Alexandra has just turned 100 years old and was the young Nelson Mandela's first home when he moved to Johannesburg. Its cramped shacks and illegal rubbish dumps sit in brutal contrast with neighbouring Sandton, dubbed the wealthiest square mile in Africa.
The crumbling structures, leaking sewage and discarded piles of rotting food are a perfect breeding ground for rats, much to the torment of residents. There have reportedly been cases of children's fingers being bitten while they sleep.
In an attempt to fight back, city officials have distributed cages and the mobile phone company 8ta has sponsored the volunteer ratcatchers.
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