South Africa: Cholera Death Toll Rises to 25

A pensioner in Mpumalanga has become the latest cholera casualty, bringing the death toll of the dreaded disease to 25.

The National Department of Health confirmed the first case of cholera detected in Mpumalanga on Thursday; a 73-year-old from Mpumalanga who was admitted at Mamatlake Hospital, which is close to Hammanskraal, the epicentre of the outbreak.

The department advised communities to exercise personal hygiene, while those experiencing cholera symptoms are urged to present themselves to the nearest health facility.

On Friday the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Gauteng will conduct an inspection in Hammanskraal, with the City of Tshwane and other stakeholders.

Responding to the cholera outbreak, the SAHRC officials have visited Hammanskraal, including Jubilee Hospital.

Speaking to Scrolla.Africa on Thursday, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said the party will maintain a keen eye on the city's expenditure on capital projects, including the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant, to ensure that mistakes and wastages of the past were not repeated again.

The city said upgrading of the plant and replacing old water pipes in the region will cost over R4 billion.

He stressed concerns about the so-called water tank mafias operating in Hammanskraal. "The water tank mafia is not only operating in the City of Tshwane but it is a syndicate that is operating across the country.

"People destroying government infrastructures should be treated as committing treason with a minimum sentence of 25 years in jail," he said.

Minister of Health Joe Phaahla said the current outbreak can be traced from the first two cases reported by Gauteng Province on 5 February 2023.

He was referring to two sisters from Diepsloot in Johannesburg who travelled together by bus to Malawi in January and returned on 30 January 2023.

"Our colleagues in the Water Department both in the City of Tshwane and DWS are continuing to examine the water sources to determine any contamination," he said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

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