After a health outbreak in the area, the City of Tshwane has advised residents in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, and nearby areas not to drink water from taps.
This comes after seven people died as a result of a recent outbreak of diarrhoeal disease in the area.
The City of Tshwane addressed the issue of water delivery in Hammanskraal in a statement issued on Sunday. The city admitted that the water it distributes to the area is unfit for human consumption, and testing will be conducted on the entire water distribution network.
“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. 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.”
According to the Gauteng Health Department, 67 persons from Kanana, Suurman, Majaneng, and Green Field in Hammanskraal have been treated at Jubilee District Hospital for symptoms of diarrhoea, stomach pains, and vomiting since Monday.
An examination into the source of the diarrhoeal outbreak is now underway.
Diarrhoeal illness is a common and often extremely common stomach and intestine infection. It is primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food and drinking water sources.
If residents feel any symptoms related to the continuing health crisis, they are recommended to seek emergency medical assistance at the nearest health facility.
It has also been advocated that religious events, such as baptisms, should not be performed in rivers or streams.
The health government has dispatched provincial and district outbreak response teams to Jubilee Hospital and other impacted regions.
“Already, stool specimen has been collected from some of the affected people. The results are expected from the laboratory during the weekend,” the department said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the City of Tshwane said water samples have been collected in the affected areas and taken for tests. The results are expected on Wednesday to determine the cause of the outbreak.
Some of the cases reported are from the Moretele area, which is not supplied by the city.
“Officials from the city’s Health Department will descend on the affected areas again today to collect further samples from the water tankers that supply water to the informal settlements.”
“The city is eagerly awaiting the confirmatory test results from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to establish the cause of the outbreak.
“The city would like to encourage residents in the affected areas to regularly wash the containers they use to draw water from the water tankers with Jik detergent, and to boil water drawn from other sources before drinking it.”
Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko is expected on Sunday to visit Jubilee District Hospital.