Will Gauteng see the return of hard lockdown

Published Jul 8, 2020


Cape Town - Gauteng is currently dealing with a spike in Covid-19 infections and requires a swift response, could it be reinstating hard lockdown?

In the past few weeks, South Africa has seen a spike in the Covid-19 infections with last week, health minister Zweli Mkhize, warned the country that Gauteng may soon overtake Western Cape as the country's epicentre.

The most recent report released by Mkhize shows that Western Cape sits with 34.5 percent of the country's infections while Gauteng, not too far behind, sits at 32.5 percent.

"When the national lockdown was eased to level three, there was a large inward movement of people as economic activities resumed. The surge that has been witnessed in the past two weeks has developed due to seeding of infections carried in by members of the community as they moved back into the workplace" Mkhize said in a statement last week, however, the impact on the economy may be the exact reason the province may not respond with a hard lockdown.

In a television interview, provincial spokesperson Thabo Masebe said the province was not calling for the return of the hard lockdown and that they understood and supported the risk-adjusted strategy implemented by the government.

“We are simply saying as the numbers continue to rise, let us look at the behaviour of people and say if some factors leading to the high increase could be due to non-adherence to the regulations, then we have to enforce the regulations.”

The province appears to be taking other measures, with health minister Zweli Mkhize saying; "The numbers are increasing fast in Gauteng. We are looking at tightening the management of distribution of beds and integrating the work of field hospitals. About 300 ICU nurses will be deployed in Gauteng this week."

"We are bringing an emergency intervention team from the national department to go into Gauteng to fast-track the availability in beds" said Mkhize.

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