The DA in Johannesburg has received numerous questions regarding the safety of potable water in Johannesburg in wake of the outbreak of cholera reported in Tshwane, Limpopo and the Free State. Upon inquiry urgent, we can confirm having received assurances that Johannesburg’s water remains safe.
The source of the cholera outbreak across northern parts of South Africa is yet to be traced and the possibility of it spreading to Johannesburg should not be ruled out. As such, and as the DA’s Shadow MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Service, I yesterday morning made contact with Johannesburg Water to confirm whether potable water supplied by Johannesburg Water is safe to drink.
Appropriate to the urgency of the situation, I received such confirmation that the City’s potable water as supplied by Johannesburg Water is free of cholera and is safe to consume. I thank the officials of Johannesburg Water who ensured rapid answers to urgent questions asked by the DA on behalf of residents.
It is key for the public to understand some of the operations of how water standards in Johannesburg are tested to keep residents safe.
Procedure is that Johannesburg Water’s laboratory team extracts about 4 700 water samples from facilities such as reservoirs, outlets and waterways across the City per month and conducts a 23-parameter test on each sample at its Cydna Laboratory in Houghton, including tests for bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E.coli) and other heavy metals.
We welcome the assurances that the potable water in the City of Joburg is safe to consume but we should not let our guard down. Residents should not consume water from rivers, dams, and other such water bodies as these could be contaminated. Even when drinking water from the taps, it will be best to boil the water thoroughly to reduce any risk of contracting diseases.
The DA in Johannesburg will continue to engage Johannesburg Water and do all we can to monitor the water quality in the City. As shadow MMC for the relevant portfolio, I will also be working closely with his Gauteng Provincial counterparts to ensure Joburg’s bulk water supplier, Rand Water and Joburg Water will comply with SANS 241 drinking water quality standard.