Residents of Hammanskraal north of Pretoria are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently pay a special visit to the area amid the rise in cholera fatalities.
The Health Department has put the death toll to 23 in Hammanskraal and one in the Free State. Three of the deceased in Hammanskraal were buried at Kanana cemetery yesterday
Residents say the President’s visit will allow government the opportunity to expand the necessary humanitarian aid for the affected communities, and families who have lost their relatives since the outbreak of the cholera.
“The President must come and help us so we can get a permanent solution. Water is life. We cannot have better life without water,” says a resident.
“Yes the President must come and see for himself the challenges that we are facing. Leaking and dirty meters and that water come to our and drink it. So he must come to see these challenges of water,” adds another resident.
In 2019, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found that the water in Hammanskraal was not fit for human consumption, after residents of the area complained about its quality.
The commission’s former Gauteng head Buang Jones says government is not taking the issue seriously.
“The problem is poor management of the water infrastructure in the city of Tshwane, poor planning, inadequate allocation of budget to address this issue, a lack of political will and community involvement in finding lasting solutions. And failing water treatment plants in the city of Tshwane are partly responsible. And this has been happening since 2004. And the commission at the time when I was still there, we called on the national government to declare the situation in Hammanskraal a national disaster, but to date, this has not been done.”
Hammanskraal water crisis on the spotlight:
Meanwhile, Hammanskraal residents say they are extra cautious following the deaths. Residents say they don’t trust tap water as well as the water that they purchase from local vendors.
“We are afraid in this life we are living in right now. We don’t if that water 100% or not 100%. But we are buying it. But we are not happy.”
“We only using tap water for washing, laundry and cleaning. We do not drink the tap water.”
Cholera outbreak | The water is green and stinks: Residents: