Cape Town – Canal Walk is investigating whether or not there is a rodent infestation in a section of the mall after a rat scurried out of a loaf of bread on the counter at the shopping centre’s Woolworths store.
Woolworths claims the centre itself is infested and that its pest control company Ecolab was already “trying to contain the situation”, but the centre’s marketing manager Vanessa Herbst said this was the first they had heard of it.
“We have no knowledge of the situation. All procedures are in place. We do regular checks. Woolworths has notified us and we will investigate.”
She also told the Cape Argus that the incident took place in the store and thus she had no reason to suspect the problem affected any other tenants.
However, Woolworths further said Ecolab had confirmed other tenants had also reported rats.
A woman who did not want to be named posted about the incident, which took place on Saturday, January 7, on Facebook.
“I was unpacking the groceries and put the bread on the counter. The packet started to move. A rat ran out of the packet, across the counter, past the cashier and through the crowd,” she said. She said she asked the teller where the manager was. The manager was unavailable, and the teller went on to explain that there was a “rodent epidemic”. “That was not the type of apology I expected. It’s not the standard I was expecting from Woolworths.
“No one on the floor came to check if we were okay. Nobody came to see if the cashier was okay, who had to pick up the loaf of bread to remove it from the customers’ sights,” she said.“When I got home I phoned the store to speak to the store manager, but they put me in touch with the second in charge. They said that they would contact me on Monday.”
Woolworths later responded to her Facebook post.
The branch food department manager, Natalie van Rooyen, wrote: “As per the incident that occurred while you were shopping at our store on Saturday evening. Sorry for only getting back to you now. We do apologise and we ensure that we are seeing to the problem.”