Frustrated residents of Hammanskraal, just north of Tshwane, say the ongoing blackouts in the country are adding to their woes.
They say it’s nearly impossible for them to boil drinking water, as advised by authorities, because of the lack of electricity.
Their remarks come as government scrambles to contain a cholera outbreak in the area, which has claimed 15 lives.
More than 60 other residents are recovering at various hospitals around South Africa’s capital city.
The enraged community is blaming government’s negligence for the crisis.
Speaking to YNews, residents of Portion 9 painted a bleak picture of conditions in their community.
They say sludge and muck of varying shades often run from their taps, while the smell of sewage along water pipelines is an all-too-common occurrence.
The community members say persistent blackouts have left them with no real choice as they can’t even boil the water that’s been declared unsafe.
“When there’s load shedding – it’s a problem because you have to make a fire to boil the water. But when you don’t have money to buy wood – then you are in trouble. How would you boil the water?,” asks one resident.
In a bid to mitigate the situation, the City of Tshwane has increased its supply of potable water to informal settlements to five days a week. It says it also provides 44 water trucks to formal areas.
Mayor Cilliers Brink has urged residents who have cholera symptoms to go to their nearest hospital or clinic as soon as possible.
He’s also appealed for increased hygiene practices, which include the regular washing with Jik detergent the containers residents use to draw water from the water tankers.
Earlier, Brink said they’ve found no cholera in the water the city is supplying to the community.
However, investigations into the source of the infections continue and residents have threatened to shut down the community should their demands for clean and accessible drinking water not be met. Article by Naomi Kobbie
— Mayor Cilliers Brink (@tshwane_mayor) May 22, 2023
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena