South Africa: Saving Eastern Cape From COVID-19 Existential Threat


This week was only the start of the 'peak' predicted for the Eastern Cape and yet the province is already overwhelmed. People are dying in the streets and mortuaries have run out of space. The Eastern Cape needs a new dawn. It needs a deep cleansing of its government and a national plan to make that happen. The province needs a strong voice, the president's, preferably, that says enough is enough.

It has been a very dark week in the Eastern Cape as all the unheeded warnings, the hidden agendas, patchy leadership and years of procrastination and misguided priorities all seemed to hit at once, creating a perfect storm and confirming what many knew and feared: when disaster comes to the Eastern Cape, it arrives at full strength.

It also forces us to ask what it will take for the national government to intervene in a province in crisis? Do they need people dying in the streets? Tick. A 1,000-bed hospital that is not used because staff weren't appointed in time? Tick. A maternity hospital in crisis because staff are not arriving at work? Tick. R10-million in Covid-19 funding for scooters that, it turns out, will only be ready in...

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