Durban – The National Freedom Party (NFP) says Pretoria “must be declared an emergency area” following the cholera outbreak that has resulted in the deaths of 15 people.
In a statement released Monday, the party said: “Following the cholera outbreak in parts of Tshwane, especially in Hammanskraal, the NFP calls for the city to be declared a disaster area”.
The small town of Hammanskraal has a population of about 21 000.
The NFP said sadly 15 people have been confirmed to have succumbed to the disease causing panic and devastation.
“The area must receive all government assistance and intervention to allow for the resources to be pumped in,” the NFP said.
“For at least two years, residents have been subjected to unhealthy and dirty water. This has brought the situation to where it is right now when lives are lost.”
Earlier on Monday, the City of Tshwane said tests on water samples from Hammanskraal had not detected any contamination.
“Multiple reservoirs, fire hydrants, primary schools, clinics and other locations that receive water from the Temba Water Treatment Plant were tested,” the City of Tshwane said.
“All of these tests have conclusively indicated that there are no microbiological contaminants that point to E. coli or Faecal Coliforms that can be linked to the cholera outbreak.”
In the last week, about 100 people with symptoms of cholera have been treated at the Jubilee District Hospital, where 37 of them have been admitted.
“We make this call clearly understanding the instability that has been created by the unstable coalition in the City of Tshwane,” the NFP said.
“We call for coordination from different stakeholders, in particular government departments as well as other private role players.”
The NFP implored other political parties to avoid using the situation in Hammanskraal as “a political play ball”.
“We would like to see help being provided for residents, and this should not be for campaigning,” the NFP said.
“We welcome the establishment of the Command Centre but warn against such to be used to score political points.
“Sanity must prevail. All the role players must do so without wanting to outshine or to self-elevate but to render a helping hand.
“The national government’s intervention is welcomed and we applaud the City of Tshwane for committing to work with the Province and National in dealing with this disaster.
“Yes, there’s a possibility of human error or failure to strictly focus on ensuring clean water is provided for human consumption, but for now, we must focus on assisting and ensuring that lives are protected.
“Losing so many people in a city like Tshwane is unacceptable and concerning
“With all the expertise and the resources, including technology, the death of 15 people could have been avoided.”