Here’s how many cases South Africa’s top coronavirus hotspots have

As South Africa moves to level 3 lockdown from 1 June, government will take a differentiated approach to deal with those areas that have far higher levels of infection and transmission, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Speaking in a national briefing on Sunday evening (24 May), Ramaphosa said that a ‘hotspot’ is defined as an area that has more than 5 infected people per every 100,000 people or where new infections are increasing at a fast pace.

“The following metros have been identified as coronavirus hotspots:

  • Tshwane;
  • Johannesburg;
  • Ekurhuleni;
  • Ethekwini;
  • Nelson Mandela Bay;
  • Buffalo City; and
  • Cape Town.

“The other areas that are hotspots are West Coast, Overberg and Cape Winelands district municipalities in the Western Cape, Chris Hani district in the Eastern Cape, and iLembe district in KwaZulu-Natal.” he’said.

Below BusinessTech looked at these hotspots and how many cases they have reported based on the latest data.


Western Cape – Cape Town, Overberg and the Winelands 

The Western Cape currently accounts for more than half of South Africa’s coronavirus cases, with most of these provincial cases centred in and around the City of Cape Town.

As of 13h00 on 24 May, the province has 6,719 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 13,969 confirmed cases and 6,950 recoveries.

Of these, the Cape Town Metro has reported 12,248 cases with 6,394 recoveries. The Cape Winelands has reported the second-highest number of cases at 722 with 355 recoveries.

The Overberg district has reported 75 cases with 34 recoveries.

District Province Cases Deaths Recoveries
City of Cape Town WC 12 248 300* 6 394
Cape Winelands District WC 722 300* 355
Overberg WC 75 300* 34

* provincial numbers


Gauteng – Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Gauteng as at 23 May sits at 2,633, with 1,880 recoveries and 29 deaths.

The Gauteng government said that most of these cases have been reported in the City of Johannesburg with the metro reporting a total of 1,342 cases, 14 deaths and 1,093 recoveries.

This is followed by the Ekurhuleni municipality on Johannesburg’s East Rand which has reported a total of 579 cases, six deaths and 452 recoveries.

The City of Tshwane (Pretoria) has reported the third-highest number of cases at 366. The region has reported a total of four deaths and 268 recoveries.

District Province Cases Deaths Recoveries
City of Johannesburg Gauteng 1 342 14 1 093
Ekurhuleni municipality Gauteng 579 6 452
City of Tshwane Gauteng 366 4 268


KZN – Ethekwini and iLembe 

The KZN provincial government says that total cases in the province currently sit at 1,777. Deaths are at 49 from 46 last week and recoveries are at 1,168 from 806.

Of these KZN cases, 1,144 are in the Ethekwini district. However, the district is not the most at risk according to the above model being used by government.

The iLembe district on KZN’s north coast has fewer numbers of Covid-19 cases, however, when calculating according to numbers per population they are higher than Ethekwini.

According to KZN’s Department of Health, iLembe stands at 53.5 per 100,000 compared to the 30.0 per 100,000 of Ethekwini.

District Province Cases Deaths Recoveries
City of Ethekwini KZN 30.0 per 100,000 49* 1 168*
iLembe municipality KZN 53.5 per 100,000 49* 1 168*

* provincial numbers


Eastern Cape – Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, and Chris Hani

As of 24 May the Eastern Cape has reported 2,690 coronavirus cases  – around 12% of the country’s total. A total of 59 deaths have been reported as well as 1,335 recoveries.

While more detailed district data for the province was not available at the time of writing, government documents show that Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, and the Chris Hani municipality are all hotspot areas.


Read: The Western Cape’s coronavirus hotspots are now spreading outside Cape Town

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Here’s how many cases South Africa’s top coronavirus hotspots have