Tebogo Lekgethwane, spokesperson for the health department in North West, denied that 21 babies were hospitalised, saying only 11 were admitted. Three of these babies had been released.
Over a week ago residents in the Bloemhof area started vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea after drinking tap water. Three babies – aged seven, nine and thirteen months – have since died and more than 300 adults have been treated.
Lekgethwane said the babies still in hospital were in a stable condition. He confirmed no new cases of diarrhoea had been reported.
Oatile Letebele, from the Lekwa-Teemane municipality in Bloemhof, said the water had been purified but residents should continue boiling it before drinking until the technical team was certain the system had not been compromised.
Residents were also provided with water from tankers. Letebele said e-coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines, had been found in the water.
Sputnik Ratau, spokesperson for Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane, said the minister was satisfied with how the situation was being handled. Ratau said a sewerage leakage at the water treatment plant might have caused the contamination.