South Africans blame gov’t as cholera outbreak kills 15
The number of deaths from cholera has reached 15 in Gauteng, which happens to be the most populous province of South Africa. A cholera outbreak has been declared by the health department in Hammanskraal, which lies approximately 50 kilometres north of Pretoria, the administrative capital of the province of Gauteng, in the city of Tshwane. Kagiso Sadiki, a…
The number of deaths from cholera has reached 15 in Gauteng, which happens to be the most populous province of South Africa.
The residents are holding the government responsible for the shortage of clean drinking water and lack of cleanliness in households. A cholera outbreak has been declared by the health department in Hammanskraal, which lies approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Pretoria, the administrative capital of the province of Gauteng, in the city of Tshwane.
On Monday, the city government reported that nearly 100 individuals had visited hospitals and 37 of them were admitted to wards. Residents of Hammanskraal and nearby regions were cautioned against consuming tap water.
According to a spokesperson from the health department, there are now a total of 41 confirmed cases across the country, with 34 in Gauteng province, one in Limpopo province, and six in Free State province. However, the cases in Free State province are not linked to the others.
Kagiso Sadiki, a resident of Hammanskraal, stated that he cannot recall a moment when the tap water in Hammanskraal was safe to drink.
His 53-year-old cousin Michael Sadiki passed away within a week of falling ill. As per the 37-year-old, the tap water appears to be discoloured and unclean.
“Everybody has the right to have clean water,” Sadiki said, visibly distressed, sitting under a lemon tree. “I hope my cousin’s death is not in vain”.
“We are drinking that water, but they don’t want to clean that water, or to … put another pipe to give us the all right water,” said 36-year-old Sello Samuel Lekoto, an unemployed resident of Hammanskraal who is being treated at Jubilee Hospital for cholera.
The municipality said in statements that the water supplied by the city in Hammanskraal is not potable, but that the city provides clean drinking water through tankers to informal settlements several times a week.
“The issue of water in Tshwane has been a problem for a number of years,” South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation David Mahlobo said in a briefing.
“There have been problems politically … [and] issues over conflicts in such a way that citizens were exposed,” he said.
Cholera can cause acute diarrhoea, vomiting and weakness and is mainly spread by contaminated food or water. It can kill within hours if untreated.
South Africa recorded its first two cholera cases in February on the back of outbreaks in nearby Mozambique and Malawi, the two most severely affected countries in 2023, according to the United Nations.
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