Gauteng premier David Makhura eyes wrongdoers after Covid-19 recovery

23 July 2020 - 15:36 By Naledi Shange
Gauteng premier David Makhura on Thursday returned to work after completing his 14-day isolation.
Gauteng premier David Makhura on Thursday returned to work after completing his 14-day isolation.
Image: File / Moeletsi Mabe

Gauteng premier David Makhura has made a full recovery from Covid-19, his office said on Thursday.

Makhura, who has completed 14 days of self-isolation, thanked public health-care staff in Johannesburg region A - which spans Diepsloot, Kya Sands, Dainfern, Midrand, Lanseria, Fourways and Ivory Park - for giving him the care he required. He did not name the institution.

“During my battle with Covid-19, I came face to face with the dedication, bravery, professionalism and fears of thousands of public health-care workers who are sacrificing their own lives in order to save more lives. I wish to convey my deep appreciation and gratitude to you all,” he said.

He also thanked all those who had supported him and sent well wishes during his isolation.  

All three premiers who contracted Covid-19 a fortnight ago - Makhura, North West premier Job Mokgoro and Western Cape's Alan Winde - are now reported to have recovered.

Makhura's office said the premier on Thursday hit the ground running, resuming his duties. One of the items on his diary for the day included the virtual sitting of the Gauteng provincial legislature where the adjustment budget was tabled.

“Through the budget tabled today, Gauteng is hiring more health workers, procuring more personal protective equipment (PPE), increasing bed capacity in existing public health facilities, and putting up field hospitals in preparation for the peak,” said Makhura’s office.

Makhura expressed optimism over Gauteng's battle with the virus. 

“While I am deeply concerned that Gauteng is now the epicentre of Covid-19 in South Africa, with 144,582 confirmed cases and 1,156 deaths, I strongly believe we can slow the pandemic and save more lives through more ward-based and community-oriented Covid-19 response teams,” he said.

“We need to work together – government, civil society and communities.”  

He called on the public to play their part in flattening the curve, saying they should continue to practise good hand hygiene, wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, avoid public gatherings and restrict funerals to 50 people.

Marring the government's efforts, however, were some public officials who have seen the coronavirus pandemic as a way to swindle money from the state, he said.

“The resources being allocated for Covid-19 should be utilised strictly to strengthen the capacity and boost the resilience of our public health-care system to save more lives and deal with the burden of the disease, and handle the outbreak of epidemics and pandemics. It is absolute shame that resources meant for saving lives are looted.”

The special investigations unit is conducting several probes. Makhura said he would provide a report-back on these next week.

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