While people were enjoying Christmas a 79-year-old grandmother from Hlaneki village, near Malamulele in Limpopo, became yet another victim of cholera.
The pensioner died shortly after being admitted to the local hospital on Friday. Her death brings to nine the total number of people who have died in the epidemic since its outbreak on November 15.
She becomes the third South African to die, while the others were Zimbabweans in whose country the disease first broke out.
Department of health spokesman Phuti Seloba said the woman became ill a few days before going to hospital.
"We have always advised our people to visit our health institutions when they start developing symptoms they are not familiar with," Seloba said. "This is done to ensure safety from any form of disease that might have the potential to take lives."
He said they had so far dealt with 1235 cholera cases, the majority being Zimbabweans.
"We are hopeful of overcoming the challenges posed by the disease," he said. "We call on people to take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting it."