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Amnesty International urges government collaboration to contain Cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal



Following the deaths of 15 persons in Hammanskraal, Amnesty International South Africa has urged the government to work with them to combat the Cholera epidemic.

Speaking on the matter, Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa, emphasized the importance of the Department of Water and Sanitation collaborating with municipalities and government across the country to manage the country’s basic water and sanitation problems.

She sadly noted that it is unfortunate and devastating to be recording Cholera fatalities in South Africa this year 2023.

“The current outbreak must be brought under control as soon as possible, and the spread of, and potential future outbreaks must be avoided.”

In a press release by the departmet on Tuesday read:

In response to reports that 15 people have died of cholera in Gauteng, Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa, said:

“People are dying of a preventable and easily treatable disease. This is deeply troubling and unacceptable. Cholera is caused by the intake of contaminated food or water – food and water that should be safe to eat and drink, not contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria.

“The provision of safe water and sanitation is critical in preventing and controlling the transmission of cholera. Despite the Gauteng Health Department’s warning to residents not to drink the tap water, and confirmation that further samples are being tested, now is the time for the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to work with municipalities, such as the City of Tshwane and across the country, to act in the short- and long-term, and invest in and manage South Africa’s basic water and sanitation infrastructure. The current outbreak must be brought under control immediately, and the spread of, and possible future outbreaks, must be prevented.

“The right to access safe, sufficient and reliable water is enshrined in the Constitution, and will continue to be threatened – and lives risked – unless the government prioritises investment in infrastructure, and tackles corruption and the mismanagement of public funds.

“Lives are at stake, and access to water is a human right and not a privilege. The national government must ensure that resources, such as water, are protected. The DWS must urgently work with municipalities, as well as the Department of Health to take immediate action to ensure that water across the country is safe for usage and consumption, and that further deaths are prevented through access to the appropriate medical care and treatment.

“In this instance, all steps taken, as well as information on the source of the outbreak, must be communicated publicly and clearly by the City of Tshwane.

“It is tragic and appalling that people are dying from cholera in South Africa in 2023. The authorities must act decisively immediately.”


The provincial and municipal government has advised residents in affected areas not to drink tap water.

The City of Tshwane said it is awaiting test results from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to confirm the source of the water contamination. The results are expected to be available on Wednesday, 24 May.

On Monday, the City said testing done on the water supply in Temba and Hammanskraal returned negative results for E. Coli and cholera. Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink asked residents to continue treating tap water as unsafe for human consumption.


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