Pravin Gordhan

The EFF and Numsa have welcomed Pravin Gordhan’s retirement. Image: GCIS/Kopano Tlape.

Pravin Gordhan deployed to assist in Tshwane COVID-19 fight

Gordhan will offer his expertise in financial management and governance to the City of Tshwane, with hotspot areas receiving extra support.

Pravin Gordhan

The EFF and Numsa have welcomed Pravin Gordhan’s retirement. Image: GCIS/Kopano Tlape.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan will lead the City of Tshwane in Gauteng in their fight to stem the surge of COVID-19 cases in the area. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that the fight against the coronavirus will be district-based and would focus on hotspot areas. Tshwane was identified as one such area and now the president has deployed Gordhan to oversee intervention strategies put in place by the metro. 

Gordhan to offer more than just COVID-19 assistance  

The City of Tshwane Head Administrator, Mpho Nawa welcomed Gordhan’s deployment, saying that he will bring a wealth of experience to the metro’s efforts to manage spending and ensure good governance.

“We will draw inspiration, lessons and mentorship in terms of good governance and financial prudence from his wealth of experience as a dedicated and committed civil servant,” Nawa said, adding that the City is already unrolling several strategies to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

“The City has developed and implemented a ward-based COVID-19 outreach screening and testing campaign which is targeted at hotspot areas. The campaign is rolled out every Friday and is currently focused on shopping centres and malls.”

“Thousands of people have been screened and tested for COVID-19 in a concerted effort to isolate those that are COVID-19-positive with the view to flatten the proverbial curve.” 

Nawa said that Gordhan’s vast experience, having served the government in various capacities over many years, would not only help the City in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but would also assist in other aspects where there are weaknesses.

Tshwane has ‘least infections of all Gauteng metros’

Tshwane’s team of administrators and senior management have already had two meetings with Minster Gordhan, and Nawa said that Gordhan will be able to assist with more than just their COVID-19 resistance. 

“We are going to have many future engagements with Minister Gordhan and we are motivated and inspired from the last two meetings we’ve had with him. He has provided cogent guidance on what needs to be done to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus,” he said.

He said that the Tshwane metro is a long way from being the worst affected metro in the country, boasting the least infections in the province that Nawa pinned on their intervention strategies.

“Of all the metros in Gauteng, Tshwane has the least number of infections due to the efforts we have put in place. We would like to appeal to communities to observe the lockdown regulations, and stop having house parties and exceeding the number of mourners permitted at funerals.”

“We can defeat this killer virus if we behave accordingly, let’s continue to wear cloth face masks, sanitise, wash our hands with soap and water, and observe physical distancing of one meter and above to contain the spread of the virus,” Nawa said. 

No word yet on other deployments

In June, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said that the Western Cape was set to receive a hotspot minister, with 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 suggested as possible deployments

No such action took place, and it currently appears that Gordhan is the first minister to be given his own metro mission.