SA’s Covid-19 numbers unpacked, while galleries and artists reshape their focus and exhibits during lockdown

On Friday, South Africa’s Covid-19 data came under scrutiny – from excess deaths to infection rates. Meanwhile, South African artists and galleries make meaning (and sales) during lockdown.



Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 14 August at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. The Eastern Cape did not provide an update by the time of publishing:










On Friday, the latest crime statistics were released. The lockdown numbers paint a “rosy picture” as SAPS saw a drop in all crime categories. Police Minister Bheki Cele went as far as calling this period a “crime holiday”. He attributed the numbers to people following the regulations to stay at home and the increased deployment of police and the SANDF. Nonetheless, almost 300,000 people were charged for violating the regulations. Greg Nicolson details the numbers. 

There have been more than 33,000 excess deaths between the start of May and the first week of July – more than three times the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths. The excess deaths have been in decline from the last week of July to the first week of August. What to make of these numbers? Kathryn Cleary asks the experts.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spent 150 of his almost 1,000 days in office focused on Covid-19. During that time, his list of supporters and detractors has fluctuated –  Ferial Haffajee explains who, where and why in the third part of the Covid-19 150 Days Report.

In Gauteng, the Covid-19 infection rate and number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients have been falling. However, experts are in disagreement about whether the provinces’ peak has come and gone. Shaun Smillie asks where they think the province might be at.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the “KZN Covid-19 Procurement Disclosure Report” has been released. Premier Sihle Zikalala said that if corruption was found within the data, then action will be taken. This comes in the wake of numerous allegations of Covid-19-relatec corruption aimed at the province. Des Erasmus unpacks the numbers.



Meanwhile, a South African nurse-turned-artist is using her canvas to explore how we view nurses – especially now, in the midst of a pandemic and a time where nurses are seen as heroes but have to contend with very human experiences and emotions. Karin Schimke spoke to Sue Greeff about her new works and the essence of the nursing spirit. 

Sue Greeff, a nurse in her younger days, only embarked on a fine arts degree at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art at the age of 50. She graduated four years ago. (Photo: Joyrene Kramer)

Despite being able to reopen now, some art galleries have chosen to keep their online presence bold – it has after all allowed them to reach audiences across the world, host artists from anywhere and make some sales. Malibongwe Tyilo spoke to South African galleries about the changing space of art. DM/MC.



"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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