City of Tshwane on high alert following cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe

Media statement                                                                                       13 December 2023

Cllr Rina Marx

MMC for Health

The national Department of Health has issued an advisory calling for preparedness in South Africa amid the ongoing outbreak of cholera in neighbouring countries, most notably Zimbabwe.

Given that cross-border travel is expected to increase due to the festive season, the City of Tshwane Health Department would like to encourage residents to take the necessary precautions.

Cholera is contracted through water or food contaminated with the cholera bacteria (vibrio cholera). Symptoms include watery diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and muscle cramps. These can be treated with intravenous fluids to hydrate and antibiotics. Early treatment is critical.

If you are unsure about the quality of water, boil water before use. Wash fruit, vegetables and meat using water that has been boiled. Good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of cholera.

The City of Tshwane Health Department has already put measures in place to ensure a speedy response to possible cholera cases.

  • Clinical staff have been alerted to remain vigilant and follow relevant protocols if community members present with watery diarrhoea at clinics.
  • A communication team will share cholera preventative e-cards on social media platforms.
  • Newly appointed peer educators are in the process of receiving in-service training, including several health promotion and educational messages.
  • Municipal health services teams are ready to respond to requests for water quality

Though the department’s efforts remain focused on preventative measures, our outbreak response teams are ready should they be required. Cholera is highly preventable and treatable if detected early. Please be vigilant.

Media enquiries: Natashia Chhiba (

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