Ramaphosa owns up after SA deadly cholera eruption


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo, AU

Africa Editor
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has owned up to the poor governance, weak management and poor maintenance of infrastructure by his government for disease outbreaks, including the latest eruption of cholera.

As of Monday, when his weekly letter was made available, the death toll had risen to 24. Hammanskraal, north of the Gauteng province is the epicentre of the waterborne disease. Dozens more people have been hospitalised following the outbreak.

“We have responsibility – and are determined – to remedy those shortcomings in a sustainable way and as a matter of urgency,” Ramaphosa assured.

The president said the deaths in Gauteng and the Free State were “deeply tragic.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones,” he condoled.

Ramaphosa noted earlier this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international relief organisations warned that after years of steady decline, cholera has made ‘a devastating comeback’, putting over 1 billion people in 43 countries at risk.

According to the WHO, 24 countries have had reported cases since the beginning of the year, including in parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

However, sentiments by Ramaphosa that “Generally, water quality in South Africa is of a high standard, which, according to our Water Research Commission, compares well with the best in the world,” have received backlash from the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

John Steenhuisen, leader of the DA, accused Ramaphosa of downplaying the water crisis.

“Aside from a dangerous denial of South Africa’s water crisis and the ANC’s role in it, this is also a gross misrepresentation of the facts which neither diagnoses the problem, nor seeks to address it,” Steenhuisen said.

“It is this same denial of our electricity crisis that has South Africa on the brink of a national grid collapse. The President cannot afford to bury his head in the sand on South Africa’s water,” the opposition leader said.

– CAJ News

















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