SA mines minister, Gwede Mantashe, in hospital after contracting Covid-19 last week

Gwede Mantashe, mines and energy minister, South Africa

SOUTH African mines and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, has been admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 disease a week ago.

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu, told South African media on Monday evening that Mantashe had been admitted on Monday on the advice of his family doctor. “Today, minister Mantashe was admitted to hospital on the advice of their (sic) doctor for better medical attention and monitoring,” Mthembu said.

Mantashe, 65, tested positive along with wife Nolwandle last week. His wife continues to quarantine at home, said BusinessLive which reported on the matter.

Mantashe is the fourth senior politician to contract Covid-19, said BusinessLive. Premiers David Makhura of Gauteng, Job Mokgoro of North West  — who has also been admitted to hospital — and Alan Winde of the Western Cape have all recently tested positive.

The virus is approaching its peak in South Africa: 364,328 people have contracted the virus in the country with 5,033 deaths, said BusinessLive.

Said Mthembu: “We will continue to give the Mantashe family all the support they need during this time, We wish both minister and Mrs Mantashe a speedy recovery from this invisible enemy and we are quite confident that they will emerge victorious against the coronavirus”.

Mantashe has drawn the praise of South Africa’s mining sector for his cooperative approach to tackling Covid-19 since the government imposed hard lockdown measures in mid-March.

Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, praised Mantashe. “We have found a lot of common ground with our minister and his department,” he said in an interview with Miningmx in June.