The figure was reached following a single day record death toll of 806 people who lost their lives to the respiratory disease on Wednesday, Mkhize said.
According to the minister, the biggest numbers of fatalities took place in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal (235), Gauteng (211), Western Cape (151) and Eastern Cape (150).
Some 24 people died in the Free State Province, 14 each in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, while seven deaths were recorded in the Northern Cape Province, he added.
Overnight death figures pushed the death toll to 35,140 since the coronavirus broke out in the country in March last year, he said.
In addition to the dead, some 18,558 patients were confirmed to have contracted the virus between Tuesday and Wednesday – bringing the growing number of Covid-19 cases to 1,278,303 to date, the highest in Africa.
Out of the country’s active Covid-19 cases of 212,233, KwaZulu-Natal province remains the epicentre of the disease in the country with some 69,599 patients, followed by Gauteng province with 47,919, while 42,473 are found in the Western Cape province, the minister revealed.
“Our recoveries now stand at 1,030,930, representing a recovery rate of 80.6%,” he added.
The UN World Health Organisation reports that, out of the 90,335,008 confirmed global cases of Covid-19, some 1,954,336 people have died from the disease.