Cholera outbreak steals the show at Tshwane budget

By Karabo Rammutla

The budget speech delivered by Tshwane’s MMC for Finance, Peter Sutton, on Wednesday, placed significant emphasis on wastewater treatment plants. 

However, opposition parties believe it may be too little, too late, as the death toll from the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal continues to rise, with 17 reported to have succumbed to the outbreak thus far. 

During the budget speech, disruptions occurred when the EFF accused the mayor and MMC of displaying a lack of empathy towards the people of Hammanskraal. 

The EFF demanded that Mayor Cilliers Brink drink water from the affected area to truly understand the severity of the situation. 

Obakeng Ramabodu, the EFF Tshwane chairperson, even brought a bottle of tap water from Hammanskraal to the council chamber, urging Brink to consume it. He said: “If the people of Hammanskraal are expected to drink this water, you should drink it too, so we can assess its cleanliness.”

Brink was chased out of Hammanskraal on Monday and prevented from entering Jubilee Hospital to assess the situation firsthand. 

He also expressed his disappointment with the EFF councillors in Tshwane for obstructing the budget speech.

Addressing the wastewater treatment issue, he revealed that the city has allocated R450 million over the next three financial years to complete Phase 1 of the Rooiwal WasteWater Treatment Plant upgrade. However, the projected cost of Phase 2 amounts to R2.5 billion, a sum the city currently lacks.

“To fund Phase 2 of the Rooiwal upgrade, the city will need assistance from other government entities to raise the required R2.5 billion,” he explained.

In an official statement, Motalatale Modiba from the Gauteng Department of Health disclosed that the number of laboratory-confirmed cholera cases stands at 29. Additionally, 67 patients have been admitted due to gastrointestinal infections.

“The total number of patients attended to at Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal has reached 165, with 18 patients being transferred to other medical facilities in Tshwane,” Modiba stated.

As the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal continues to worsen, it remains a pressing issue that demands immediate attention and collaborative efforts from all relevant parties.

Pictured above: The cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal takes centre stage during the budget speech as the death toll rises

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