Johannesburg – The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday said the City of Tshwane was “sleeping on the job” resulting in the cholera outbreak that has claimed 15 lives.
“The tragedy unfolding in Hammanskraal is a direct outcome of a municipality that has been sleeping on the job and failed dismally to provide clean and safe drinking water to the people of Hammanskraal,” the ANC said.
“The ANC is alarmed and saddened by the cholera outbreak which continues to ravage the communities of Hammanskraal and has left in its wake 15 people dead and many others in hospital.”
The City of Tshwane is under a Democratic Alliance-led (DA) multiparty government that includes ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, the African Christian Democratic Party, Inkatha Freedom Party, and the Congress of the People.
The ANC said it was “outraged, not only because cholera is a preventable disease, but because the DA-led City of Tshwane continues to trample on the dignity of the people of Hammanskraal and to shamelessly violate their human rights in the most heartless and inhuman manner”.
“The tragedy unfolding in Hammanskraal is a direct outcome of a municipality that has been sleeping on the job and failed dismally to provide clean and safe drinking water to the people of Hammanskraal.
“The ANC commends the decisive interventions by the Department of Water and Sanitation to address the water crisis in Hammanskraal and the Gauteng Health Department to curb the spread of cholera and to prevent further loss of life.”
The ANC said it was disappointed by the DA’s half-hearted cooperation.
“Instead of joining hands with the provincial and national government to deal with the tragedy, the DA has resorted to their typical defensive, buck-passing and finger-pointing exercises without accepting any responsibility.
“We urge the DA to take responsibility for their failure to provide water fit for human consumption and commit to addressing the problem. We urge the Department of Water and Sanitation not to relent.
“They must continue to drag the DA administration, kicking and screaming, to the water purification plants to ensure that our people get access to safe and clean water.”
The ANC said it has become self-evident that since 2016 the “poorest of the poor” have never been on the priority list of the DA administration.
“Our people have learned the hard way that DA-governed areas have been transformed into islands of apartheid in a sea of democracy,” the ANC said.
“This naked and callous disregard for people’s basic rights has accelerated the momentum generated by the #BuyaTshwane campaign.
“We are confident that the people of Tshwane have seen the DA for what it is – a racist party hell-bent on preserving apartheid privileges.
“The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to those who have been hospitalised.
“In the absence of clean and safe water, we urge our communities to observe all basic hygiene measures to prevent cholera.”
These measures include washing one’s hands thoroughly with soap before handling food and boiling water before drinking or using it for cooking.