The Transformation of SA’s Covid-19 Curve

Does this curve look flattened to you?

south africas total number of cases

Let’s break this down, shall we?

south africa pre-lockdown number of cases

Initially there had been a slow, gradual increase in cases. On 22 March this inclined. The next day a 21-day lockdown was announced.

south africa original 3 week lockdown cases

The 3-week lockdown, which was generally received in good faith by the SA public, initially did a good job with slowing down the spread. However, on 9 April it was announced that the lockdown would be extended. Note the slight incline that follows after the announcement.

south africa extended lockdown cases

This graph speaks for itself.

Let’s look at everything together again:

south africa total number of cases with breakdown

This is what happens when good faith is lost. This is also what happens when the majority of people that you see on the streets, in taxis and in the grocery stores have no sense of personal responsibility and blatantly ignore social distancing and mask safety. Out of every 10 people I see, an average of 7 will be wearing masks, leaving 3 without masks. Out of the 7, 5 of those will have their masks either hanging below the chin or below the nose. Where this is happening in shops, I have seen no action being taken by the staff. In fact, it is often the members of staff who are not wearing their masks properly. Upon approaching one of these individuals, I was told that his colleague friend could not hear him whilst they were clearly engaged in social discussion on the shop floor. He refused my calls for him to fix his mask.

However, it is important to note that the numbers did not merely increase due to transmission, but also because more people were being tested.

south africa total number of tests

The unfortunate truth is that you cannot outrun a virus. As it has been officially stated, the purpose of the original lockdown was to buy SA’s poorly functioning health system more time to prepare. (A doctor friend worked at a public hospital for several years. They were issued with ONE N95 mask to last them for 3 years at the particular hospital. Other basic supplies, required to treat patients, were also in constant shortage, despite ongoing calls for these supplies)

As confirmed by Professor Karim, the 3-week lockdown achieved its original purpose. (Whether this purpose was communicated to the public at the onset of the lockdown is another question.) So, why are we still being locked in (while 19 000 prisoners roam free) and why are we still being kept in the dark?

Besides the “time to prepare”, which destroyed the economy and non-BEEE businesses, introduced unprecedented unemployment, poverty and hunger, whilst also reigniting xenophobia and ironically proving that the NHI will be a disaster, what else has the extended, draconian lockdown and its accompanying implementations achieved?

* All graphs based on statistics as per


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