National ministers to be deployed to Western Cape as Covid-19 peak approaches - report

  • National ministers are to be deployed to the Western Cape to assist in the province's fight against Covid-19, a report says.
  • It is still unclear what the ministers' mandate is, but they will be sent to hotspots.
  • While some in the DA raised micromanagement concerns, Premier Alan Winde and Minister Jackson Mthembu denied this, saying it shouldn't be politicised.

Plans to deploy national ministers to the Western Cape to assist in the fight against Covid-19 are under way, according to a report in the Sunday Times

The publication reported that the likes of Police Minister Bheki Cele, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, and Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Creecy will be among those deployed to the province.

Their duties are still unclear, however, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu told Sunday Times that ministers would be sent to Covid-19 hotspots – a decision which the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) made.

Mthembu said the same would be done for hotspots in other provinces.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde confirmed the deployment to Sunday Times, saying he had not spoken to President Cyril Ramaphosa about the ministers' mandate but hoped consultations would take place before the deployment.  

However, Mthembu told the publication the president had consulted with the Western Cape government when he met the premier and his executive.

While some DA insiders raised concerns that the national government was attempting to micromanage the DA-run province, both Winde and Mthembu denied this, saying politics should not come into play during the fight against Covid-19, the report said.

The Western Cape has the most Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country.

As of Saturday night, the Western Cape recorded 66.1% of the national figure, with cases sitting at 30 379, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

The province also recorded 53 of the 60 deaths that occurred in the country on Friday, News24 previously reported.

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