The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has assured the public that it is working on an integrated model to respond to the current cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, says the department has extended the scope of its existing technical team of experts in water services and regulations to work on this integrated model aimed at addressing the outbreak in Hammanskraal.
Mchunu said the technical team from the department will work directly with the national and provincial Departments of Health and the City of Tshwane to assist with matters, including water quality investigations from source, taps, stationary tanks in some households, and identifying the causes of the disease outbreak.
"The technical team will further extend the intensive assessment of the various water supply systems from Magalies and Rand Water Boards to confirm the current drinking quality standards.
"The department has recently confirmed that the dual water systems supplied by Magalies and Rand Water meet the drinking water quality standards, as per the South African National Standards (SANS) 241," Mchunu said.
Mchunu said the department has also directed the City of Tshwane to stop supplying water from the Temba Water Treatment plant to residents of Hammanskraal for human consumption.
"The city is currently providing potable water to affected communities that were initially supplied by the Temba Water Treatment Plant, through the deployment of water tankers," Mchunu said.
According to the Department of Health report, 15 people in Hammanskraal, including two children and 13 adults, have passed away due to the cholera outbreak.
"Forty-six people have been admitted at Jubilee District Hospital [with] 29 confirmed cases of Cholera. Eighteen patients were transferred to Dr George Mukhari and Steve Biko Academic Hospitals," the Department reported.
Stakeholders called to collaborate to curb the spread
Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, has called on all stakeholders to cooperate with each other to curb the spread of the Cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal.
"The committee appreciates the collaborative effort from all spheres of government that will ensure that the country, as always, overcomes this problem. I also want to encourage the communities to follow instructions given on the treatment of water to endure safety," Committee Chairperson, Robert Mashego said.
Mashego also called on all stakeholders to leave no stone unturned in finding the source of the contamination and ensure thorough disinfections and cleaning.
"The committee reiterates its call made during its previous visit to the area that there must be a long term solution to the poor quality drinking water in the area. Also, various interventions were suggested that would have been implemented to ensure that the people of the area receive quality water.
"The investigation to be undertaken must provide a framework to be followed to ensure that this eventuality does not happen again. The people of Hammanskraal deserve much better service as guaranteed by the Constitution," Mashego said.
Mashego has extended his condolences to the families of 15 people who have passed due to the outbreak.
He also encouraged the communities to follow instructions given on the treatment of water.