SELEBI-PHIKWE: Cattle that vandalise people’s gates to feed on waste foods and plastic bags from dustbins at night have left many residents devastated in the copper mining town.
One of the concerned residents, Lefoko Senane, said cattle that enter their yards at night also disturb their peace.
“They make a lot of noise at night. They push and break dustbins to eat waste food and anything they find including plastics,” he said.
He added that sometimes he wakes up at night thinking that it is the thieves only to find that it’s cattle. Senane, who resides in Newstance location here in Selebi-Phikwe, said recently they have been confronted by a bad odour from a cow that died behind his residence. He said the cow died because of the plastic bags it consumed from the dustbins. Another resident, Gosego Kewagamang, said cattle destroyed her gate and tap while trying to enter her place.“When I woke up in the morning, I found garbage all over the yard. The water was spilling from a broken tap and the gate was partly destroyed and I realised it was cows as I could see their footprints,” said Kewagamang.
She also said cattle roam the streets since they are attracted by water that flows from a nearby broken sewage pipe. Selebi-Phikwe town clerk, Poloko Mojalemotho, commented that indeed cattle caused havoc in the town and they were equally concerned.
Mojalemotho said that it has not rained and there is a shortage of water in rivers and dams for the cattle to drink and the land is dry hence not enough grazing land for them. “Because there is drought, these cattle are attracted by dripping water from broken water pipelines in town as well,” he said.
He added that there are many passages in town especially in the Botshabelo and Newstance areas with long grass hence it is also one of the things that attract cattle to town. The clerk disclosed that the fence that prevents livestock from entering town has been vandalised. “We suspect that it was vandalised by farmers who cannot feed their cattle,” he said.
He indicated that people are not supposed to rear livestock in town, adding that if it happens that people do that, they are supposed to keep them within their compounds so that they do not destruct other people’s properties.
Mojalemotho said as SPTC they are doing their best to control the movement of livestock in the town because the law does not allow livestock in town. He said that they have 12 men who patrol around town to chase away cattle especially away from roads to avoid accidents.
He added that the men control the movement of cattle weekdays from 6am until 5pm therefore the cattle are often seen around town at night and on weekends when the men are off duty.
“Some farmers do not take care of their cattle and leave them to go astray and think it is the responsibility of the town council,” he said, urging farmers to take responsibility of their livestock.
He added that it is very expensive to impound livestock because they have to feed and vaccinate them when they are in their custody but they do not have enough funds to do so.
Mojalemotho said the law has to be tightened and serious action should be taken against farmers who do not take care of their livestock.