Health minister Zweli Mkhize might think he’s being transparent, but he isn’t. Most days at around 8pm we get a number — on Sunday it was 6,783 infections – and another number, in this case 131 deaths. The problem is, there’s never enough consistent detail to make sense of what this really means.

Occasionally there are some titbits, describing the age of the people who died and what other diseases they had that had made them susceptible to Covid-19. Sometimes there are details about the location of the clusters of cases and the trends in infections. But many days it’s just the cold numbers. In the absence of consistent detail and context, Mkhize might as well be tabulating his six favourite films — mildly interesting, but ultimately of little use...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now