Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the country can maintain control over Covid-19. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency(ANA)
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the country can maintain control over Covid-19. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency(ANA)

We can turn the tide against this enemy, says Mkhize

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jun 16, 2020

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Rustenburg - South Africa can maintain control over Covid-19, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

"We can turn the tide against this enemy. As a country we can maintain control over the coronavirus [Covid-19]," he said at the launch of multi-sectoral Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on social change on Youth Day.

The new committee chaired by general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana would advise on social and cultural interventions. 

"Today, as a nation, as humanity, we face an unseen enemy – an enemy that knows no race, no religion, no border, no government, no king, no peasant. It only knows human, and how to get from one to the next one," Mkhize said.

"As South Africans, we cannot afford to have excuses. The whole world is going through what we are going through. Our hard won freedoms were to afford us the opportunity to be the masters of our own fate..."

He said the ministerial advisory committee was inspired by South Africans, who stayed at home for five weeks to flatten the curve and pushed the coronavirus peak out by a few months, saving many lives and ensured the balancing of resources.

"But as we re-open the economy, amidst rising infections, we appreciate more and more the difficulty of sustaining what feels unnatural. Behavioural change needs constant reinforcement and affirmation. It needs entire buy in of individuals, communities, societies and cultures," he said.

Mkhize said the coronavirus has decimated some of the strongest health care systems and called on humanity to entirely reassess its way of living.

"It has changed the way we do things – the way we dress, the way we we wash our hands, the way we greet or show affection. It has disrupted our social lives and threatens to sink economies. It has forced humanity to choose between life or external trappings."

He said 123 coronavirus related deaths of young people under the age of 40 were recorded since the outbreak in South Africa.

"We too have lost young soldiers in the fight. Since the advent of the pandemic on our shores, we have lost 123 fellow South Africans 39 years or younger with 29 of those under the age of 30. We pay special respects to these young lives today and extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of our fallen compatriots."

African News Agency/ANA

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit 

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