Cholera death toll rises to 17, ActionSA ropes in Public Protector

todayMay 24, 2023 54

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The Cholera death toll in Hammanskraal, in Tshwane, has risen to 17.

The Gauteng Health Department says 67 patients are currently being treated for gastrointestinal infection.

The department’s Motalatale Modiba, in a statement, says the Jubilee District Hospital has treated 165 people in total, 18 of them have now being transferred to other health facilities around Tshwane.

The health department is urging locals to ensure proper hand-hygiene, which includes washing of hands with water and soap or alcohol-based sanitiser before handling food and after using the toilet.

“We advise the public to report to their nearest health facilities when they present with
diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and dehydration symptoms, so they can
receive medical treatment,” says Modiba.

Hammanskraal residents are up in arms over the outbreak.

They are planning on protesting tomorrow, while local legal practitioners have threatened to take legal action against the government.

They describe the fatalities caused by the outbreak as a massacre.

ActionSA has on the other hand lodged a complaint with the Public Protector against the City of Tshwane and its former mayor, Randall Williams.

The party is accusing the city and Williams of negligence that has resulted in the cholera outbreak.

It says Williams failed to act on the alleged corruption at the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“If Williams and the city did not delay cancellation of the irregular RWTP tender and delayed the implementation of an investigation report, the current cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal could, in all likelihood, have been avoided,” ActionSA says in a statement.

It adds that: “Following the contract’s cancellation, ActionSA requested that the contract be investigated, and Williams delayed submitting the report to the council for three months despite repeated requests from ActionSA to table the report so we could begin to deal with Hammanskraal’s water issues meaningfully.”

Businessman Edwin Sodi’s company was granted the tender to upgrade the plant, but allegedly did half the job despite having being paid in full for the R295 million project.

This is believed to have led to the further deterioration of the water quality in Hammanskraal, which has so far resulted in 17 deaths.

ActionSA Tshwane Regional Chairperson, Jackie Mathabathe, says he hopes the Public Protector’s investigation will lead to the community of Hammanskraal getting the justice they deserve.

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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