It’s not surprising that Gauteng Premier David Makhura is “on my knees, begging”, as he puts it, the residents of his province to get serious about Covid-19.
That transference of blame to citizens is a convenient – and well-tried – ANC tactic of passing the buck and ducking responsibility for whatever destruction its own conduct has caused.
And, in the case of Gauteng, the ruling party has a lot to answer for as hospitals get overwhelmed and overworked front-line medical staff are forced to play God and decide, through triage, who lives and who dies.
Money that could have helped prepare our hospitals has been looted. A field hospital established with great fanfare at the beginning of the pandemic last year, has been closed down – supposedly because no staff are available to run it.
Yet hundreds of newly qualified doctors are sitting idle while the government dithers over where to place them.
Another area in which the national and provincial authorities have been sadly lacking is in taking strong action to contain the contagion.
The return to level 3 lockdown was, it is turning out, ineffective at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
Even now, there is a recommendation from scientific experts to take the province down to a mixture of level 3 and level 4.
However, there seems broad acceptance that a level 5 lockdown would be too financially devastating to contemplate.
There are still more experts who believe that, whatever restrictions are imposed, the horse has long since bolted and we’re just along for the ride now.
Bearing all of that in mind, though, the third wave overwhelming Gauteng is proof positive that many South Africans refuse to take responsibility for their actions and continue to ignore reasonable precautions to keep themselves, and others, safe.
How many deaths will it take before we change?