Article courtesy of SowetanLive | Shared as educational material| November 29, 2014 |
MANTSOPA local municipality will have to explain the alleged contamination of water in Ladybrand to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
The water is brownish in colour and residents have complained about diarrhoea even after boiling it.
Pensioner Anastacia Tshephe on Monday said the water had what appeared to be toilet paper in it. Tshephe, who rents a room in Manyatseng, said she did not have any other choice but to drink it as she could not afford to buy bottled water.
“This water is not good but they [the municipality] tell us to drink it. It smells really bad and tastes funny as well,” she said.
Another resident, Motsheoa Mokoka, said she also could not afford to buy bottled water.
“You should see the rice after we have cooked it with this water. It looks brown. Even when it is still cooking, the foam looks brown. We are always suffering from diarrhoea.”
A nurse at Manyatseng clinic said they were always treating diarrhoea patients. “We tell them to boil it, but even that does not work sometimes. We are also affected, but it is better for us because we take medication for it [diarrhoea],” she said.
The problem is not only restricted to township residents as even those staying in town experience the same problems.
A resident who moved to South Africa in 1994 from England said she had no other choice but to buy water from the local supermarkets.
“At least I can afford it, but what about the people staying in the township? This is heartbreaking and the municipality must just sort this mess out.”
DA councillor Tania Halse said she had asked the municipality to attend to the problem but her pleas had not yielded any results. “They denied that there was a problem, but they have not proved that what I said is false.”
South African Human Rights Commission chairman in Free State, Buang Jones, confirmed that they were investigating allegations that the water was contaminated.
“We are currently still investigating and have not completed our investigations yet,” Jones said.
Municipality spokesman Mohlomi Mokoatsi said: “We acknowledge the challenges facing us, but we are working hard on resolving this issue.”