South Africa has passed the Covid-19 storm as fewer cases are being reported.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said this to MPs on Wednesday as he defended the lockdown in Parliament saying it was the correct decision to prevent more deaths.

Mkhize said with the surge over, the government will continue to open the economy.

South Africa is currently under lockdown Level 2.

Wednesday, the country had 630 595 cases of which 553 456 people recovered.

The death toll stood at 14 389.

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Mkhize said more than 240 health workers have died of Covid-19 and more than 31 000 infected with the virus.

Asked by DA MP Lindy Wilson about the delay in opening the economy, Mkhize said: “At the time, if we did not do the lockdown, South Africa would be worse than it is today.

“The reality is that we have done the best in the situation. You must stop politicising the matter. Yes, we must rebuild the economy.

“When we opened the economy it was not about the big business, it was about the people who are the backbone of the economy.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed the deceased, bandiete, government employees, and government-funded students are among the thousands who illegally benefited from the temporary employment funds (TERS) meant to help workers affected by the lockdown.

These were among a litany of potentially fraudulent activities contained in Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s report about the looting of the funds.

The UIF has disbursed R41.6 billion to retrenched workers and those who had salary cuts during the pandemic, with some of it sent to the wrong beneficiaries.-Daily Voice

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