South Africa’s tap water is safe to drink, the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday following a media report in which an online travel company alleged otherwise.

“Government assures the public the tap water in the country is safe for human consumption. Water is life, therefore, it is a priority for government to ensure that citizens and tourists are served with safe drinking water,” said the department via an email.

On Tuesday, TimesLive reported that holiday company Globehunters said via a blog that South African drinking water may not be safe for consumption.

The statements came with the release of the company’s map showing tourists where to avoid tap water, said TimesLive.

According to the blog: “It’s important to note that the following advice doesn’t mean that water in a country is unsafe or polluted, just that as a tourist, your body will not be used to the water in the area.”

The department said in its statement that the establishment of the Blue Drop programme was amongst the measures government had put in place to ensure that South Africa’s water services institutions delivered good quality water “that complies with the South African Drinking Water Quality Standard (SANS 241)”.

“It should be noted that SANS 241 is aligned with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for drinking water,” said the department.

“Currently, the Department of Water and Sanitation is investigating the claims made in an article by TimesLive that a holiday company, Globehunters, reported that tap water is not safe in South Africa. We reject the allegations and assertions contained in this statement. We also hereby reassure tourists and the general public that water in South Africa is of a high quality standard,” said the department.

When there was a concern over tap water quality, government would launch a probe and attend to the situation immediately, said the department.