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After receiving several complaints from Frankfort residents who experienced health problems that could possibly be attributed to contaminated municipal water, Mafube Business Forum (MBF) took samples at points in Frankfort and sent them to an accredited laboratory for analysis.

Photo: Wikipedia

Water samples: Although no E. coli was detected in the samples, the microbial analysis shows that the supplied sample taken in the central area of ​​Frankfort, contained a high number of bacteria as indicated by the high heterotrophic plate count, as well as high total coliforms bacteria, and therefore do not meet the SANS 241 drinking water quality limits. The coliform bacteria is a health risk because it may contain pathogenic bacteria*.

Emergency solution: Residents are hereby cautioned that municipal water is not suitable for domestic use and should not be drank or used for food preparation, before it has been boiled or treated with bleach.

Geysers: MBF also caution that the water temperature of domestic hot water cylinders ("geysers") must be maintained at higher than 55 ⁰C to prevent bacteria growth. This is the minimum thermostat temperature setting, but in practice many residents switch off their "geysers" to save power, which poses a risk and should be avoided.

MLM knew since Dec 2023: MBF warned as recently as December 2023 that the quality of municipal water in the Mafube area was not up to standard, when the Blue Drop report was launched by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). According to this report, Mafube Local Municipality (MLM) achieved only 4.25% in the assessment - the worst result in the entire Free State, if not the entire country.

The risk assessment at the Frankfort water treatment plant serving Frankfort, Namahadi and Cornelia is 98.1%. DWS indicated that they "take note of the dire state of management and drinking water quality in the Frankfort, Tweeling and Villiers water supply systems."

Solution awaiting: The Municipal Manager was directed to submit a detailed corrective action plan within 20 days of publication of the report. The plan must indicate the activities, responsible persons, timelines and expected improvement. There is doubt whether Adv. Lepheana, the acting Municipal Manager of Mafube took note of the directive.

*Test results are available upon request.

MBF invites residents, business owners and taxpayers to visit our offices at 18A Church Street, Frankfort on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays 08h30 to 12h00. Call or send a WhatsApp message to Marina on 079 145 4295. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

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