Don’t drink tap water: Tshwane appeals to residents amid cholera outbreak

Man drinking water from outside tap

The City of Tshwane has appealed to residents in and around Hammanskraal to avoid drinking water from taps following an outbreak of cholera. File Picture: Liza van Deventer

Published May 22, 2023


Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has urged communities in Hammanskraal and surrounding areas to avoid drinking water from taps following a cholera outbreak in the area.

“While the water supplied by the city in Hammanskraal is not potable, however, the city does provide potable (drinkable) water through 52 water tankers to informal settlements three times a week, and 40 water trucks to formal areas daily in Region 2,” Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba said.

“This is done to ensure that communities drink safe water. The city regularly conducts tests on the quality of water provided to our communities, and following this outbreak, comprehensive tests will be done on the entire water distribution network.”

Water samples have been collected in the affected areas and taken for tests in order to determined the cause of the outbreak. Bokaba said the results were expected on Wednesday.

He said some of the cases reported were from the Moretele area, which was not supplied by the City of Tshwane.

On Sunday, Bokaba said officials from Tshwane’s health department were again descending on the affected areas to collect further samples from the water tankers that supplied water to the informal settlements.

“The Outbreak Response Teams (ORT) are on the ground, conducting surveillance monitoring and doing sampling of the water. Communities are urged to present themselves to the nearest health facility immediately when they experience symptoms.

“Health facilities are on high alert to urgently attend to the patients with symptoms.”

The City of Tshwane has encouraged residents in the affected areas to regularly wash the containers they used to draw water from the water tankers, with a Jik detergent, and to boil water drawn from other sources before drinking it.

“Communities are also urged not to conduct religious activities such as baptism in the rivers or streams,” said Bokaba.

On Saturday, IOL reported that the national Department of Health had appealed to community members to take extra-precautionary measures and maintain proper hand-hygiene as South Africa experiences an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease or gastrointestinal infections.

Health officials had also raised the alarm on the rising number of laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera.