In June 2014, three babies died in Bloemhof from drinking contaminated water. It was a national tragedy. The municipal manager resigned ahead of two criminal lawsuits, the mayor was fired. The Minister of Water Affairs Edna Molewa promised swift intervention and R20 million to fix the problem. But during the same time – in fact, up until last week – more than eleven infants have died in a tiny spot on the map called Biesiesvlei, close to a slightly larger spot on the map called Sannieshof. But there is no national intervention – yet.
The death certificates are stark: a mere couple of forms with the pathetic details of a short life. Cause of death: dehydration and diarrhoea. Ages ranging from two months to eighteen months. And, most poignantly and disturbingly, the tiny fingerprints of the dead children.
Informal investigations uncovered eleven official baby deaths from diarrhoea in this tiny hamlet in the last three months. There could be more. A health professional working in the area kept a written record of their names and causes of death, along with the details of a number of elderly people and those made vulnerable by HIV. She declined to…
Source : Daily Maverick