6th South African cabinet minister gets COVID-19


A sixth member of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet has contracted COVID-19.

Ebrahim Patel, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition has gone into self-quarantine and will work from home, the South African presidency has announced.

In a statement, the presidency said Patel, who took part in a virtual parliamentary budget vote a day before he got his results, was ok.

“Minister Patel is in good spirits and is in self-quarantine, and will continue to work from home. Those that have been in contact with the minister are also in self-isolation and have been encouraged to get tested.

“The minister remains committed to preparing South Africa for the post-covid world, strengthening efforts around reconstruction and recovery. As part of his budget debate speech yesterday, the Minister announced that every directorate of the DTIC and every agency within its mandate will prioritise saving firms and jobs during this period,” the presidency said.

The highest office in the land also announced that Gwede Mantashe, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, has been discharged from hospital, where he was being treated for COVID-19. Mantashe spent six days in hospital and will now spend seven days in self-quarantine at home.

The presidency reiterated that to defeat the virus, all South Africans must continue to play their part in observing all health protocols of washing our hands regularly, properly wearing a mask when in public and practicing physical distancing. 

Other ministers infected with COVID-19 are:

  • Nosiviwe  Mapisa-Nqakula, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. 
  • Gwede Mantashe, the Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy.
  • Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister of Social Development
  • Phathekile Holomisa, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour.
  • Thulas Nxesi, the Minister of Employment and Labour.

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