Question NW3156 to the Minister of Health

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11 December 2017 - NW3156

Profile picture: Filtane, Mr ML

Filtane, Mr ML to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether, with regard to the insufficient provision of water at the Butterworth Hospital in the Eastern Cape, which resulted in ill people being released to go home and suffer or possibly die, he was informed of the pending water crisis; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether any measures were in place to avoid the above-mentioned consequence; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?


(1) Through the MEC for Health in the Eastern Cape, I was made aware of water challenges facing Butterworth area, thus affecting Butterworth Hospital.

Patients were transferred to other health facilities and no patients were sent home to die.

During the period in question, water carting happened in the hospital. As an additional measure, the Hospital reservoir is being expanded.

The drought situation has drastically improved with the good rains that we received. The Hospital is functioning normally.

(2) Yes, measures were put in place to avert the situation, such as the following:


The Department is currently carting water from East London to Butterworth Hospital.


When the risk was identified by the Department in 2016, Geo-hydrological studies were commissioned by the Eastern Cape Department of Health which unfortunately indicated that there is no underground water in the Butterworth area, hence the Department resolved to initiate a project to construct an additional 800 Kilo Litre water reservoir. The project is currently in procurement. The reservoir will be sufficient to store water for 48 hours.


The Department made arrangements with Local Municipality to open water specifically to the Hospital reservoir on certain days of the week.


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