Redi Tlhabi: 'Wash your hands' is a joke when directed at communities begging for water

10 March 2020 - 07:54 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Redi Tlhabi has weighed in on the Covid-19 outbreak.
Redi Tlhabi has weighed in on the Covid-19 outbreak.
Image: Madelene Cronjé

As more South Africans test positive for the deadly coronavirus, Redi Tlhabi has expressed concern for communities lacking water, when hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent its spread.

Seven people have tested positive for the virus in SA.

Taking to social media this week, Tlhabi acknowledged efforts made by various government departments in informing the public regarding the spread of the virus and measures being taken to contain it.

Gender activist Nomboniso Gasa chimed in: “I agree, but I wish water and sanitation was also there,” sparking a conversation about communities unable to follow health guidelines because they do not have water.

Tlhabi said telling people to wash their hands when some are without water “is a joke”. She blamed the lack of the resource on corruption and drought.

TimesLIVE reported last week that business and schooling in Makhanda has been disrupted by water scarcity, despite rain in January.

Zoleka Kate, principal of Fikizolo Primary in Joza, said their taps and water tanks have run dry, with their attempts to get the municipality to deliver water falling flat.

She thanked donors, including Gift of The Givers, which has been assisting the community since February 2019.

The community of QwaQwa has been protesting for reliable water provision for years.

In February, TimesLIVE reported that the community resorted to protests after a girl drowned when she went to fetch water from a filthy stream.