This is no time for rule sticklers, excuses or show-off marches

27 June 2021 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Editorial

This week, South Africa came close to record daily Covid-19 infections. With the third wave now officially expected to be bigger than the second, we will probably within days exceed the 21,980 infections recorded on January 8. The daily rate reached close to 17,500 on Wednesday and it has consistently hovered above 10,000. For many, the pain is not so much about the third wave than the government behaving as if it did not know about the catastrophe. In Gauteng, the provincial government took more than five weeks to acquire 19 fire doors for the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. The doors are vital for the hospital to reopen after a fire forced its closure in April. The hospital, with its 1,000 beds, could be used to accommodate patients in the Covid storm engulfing Gauteng.

The heart of the problem seems to be an insistence by Gauteng premier David Makhura's administration to strictly follow the Public Finance Management Act, no matter the delays or cost in lives. Such a shameful attitude must be rejected...

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