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COVID-19: SA funeral parlours 'running out of coffins, graves & storage space'

The pandemic has put immense pressure on the death-care industry, as cases across South Africa continue to rise.

FILE: The National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa said the increasing number of cases and deaths have put the industry in jeopardy. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Funeral parlours across South Africa on Thursday said they were battling to cope with the high number of burials.

The coronavirus pandemic has put immense pressure on the death-care industry, as cases across South Africa continue to rise.

The National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa said the industry also faced challenges of high demand for coffins and increasing numbers of burial staff losing their lives to COVID-19.

The association’s Muzi Hlengwa said contrary to what many believed, business was not booming for funeral parlours and burial services.

Hlengwa said the increasing number of cases and deaths have put the industry in jeopardy.

“We are receiving more bodies than ever before. If we had anticipated this, we would have planned better and we would have achieved better results. The industry has run out of coffins, we have run out of graves, there’s not much space left for burial. Even the storage space is out.”

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