Gauteng Premier David Makhura says while the third wave of COVID-19 infections may not be as deadly as the first and second waves, it will be more prolonged.

The Premier along with his command council provided an update on COVID-19 in the province on  Friday.

Gauteng has the highest proportion of active coronavirus cases in the country, at 36%.

In the last seven days, more than 15 000 new infections have been recorded.

Johannesburg, Krugersdorp, Vereeniging and Atteridgeville are the province’s current hotspots.

Premier Makhura says many residents are not complying with lockdown regulations.

“Over the past 3 weeks, we have had sustained increases. The spike is continuing, the third wave is slower but more sustained. It means, the whole of June, we are going to experience – unless something happens, including more enforcement.”

“We are not seeing compliance, the message is not getting out there. We are very concerned that it’s winter and it’s cold. People are not able to go out into ventilated spaces,” explains Makhura.

Gauteng Provincial Command Council media briefing:

‘Corruption allegations against Mkhize are a huge blow’

The Department of Health in Gauteng says corruption allegations against Health Minister Zweli Mkhize are a huge blow to the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The allegations relate to his department’s awarding of a R150 million contract to communications company Digital Vibes.

Mkhize’s former aides control the company which got the contract to do work related to the National Health Insurance Scheme and government’s response to the pandemic.

The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) is probing the matter.

In May, Mkhize admitted that the deal was irregular and said disciplinary action would be taken against those responsible.

Gauteng Chief Director of Primary Healthcare Meisie Lerutla says, “To have a Health Minister who is leading our pandemic response, somebody whose word is not believed, who cannot engage with the media, having to duck and dive accountability – we’ve got too many big issues at play right now. We have a Health Minister that can’t answer basic questions about what’s happening in his department.”

Meanwhile, Mkhize elected not to attend the Health Portfolio Committee meeting on Friday, citing legal reasons. He had been invited to account on the irregular R150 million communication contract, awarded by the department to his associates.

Mkhize has denied that he benefitted from the contract but reports suggest his family home was maintained by proceeds of the contract. His son also allegedly benefitted with R300 000 and a vehicle.

Political analyst Dr Dale McKinely takes a look at Mkhize not appearing before the Committee: