Demand for burials, cremations spike amid peak of COVID second wave
A number of cemeteries had already reached capacity before the pandemic and now others are also quickly reaching capacity.
CAPE TOWN - As Cape Town health officials deal with the COVID-19 peak of the second wave, demand for burials and cremations are increasing in the metro.
The City of Cape Town on Monday said that since the beginning of December, burials had risen.
The municipality has just over 40 cemeteries - a number of sites had already reached capacity before the pandemic and now others are also quickly reaching capacity.
Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said the entire burial value system was under immense pressure, including undertakers and storage, during the burial process.
“Through this, the City has been engaging with a number of undertakers that were able to identify very quickly where there are bottlenecks in terms of resources or access to grave sites.”
He said a very popular community cemetery, Klip Road, was reaching capacity and was finding alternative space to avoid mass burials.
Badroodien said the number of COVID-19 burials had increased and they were seeing almost double the average number of burials per week.
A week ago, there were just over 500 burials - about 20% of which were COVID-19 fatalities.
“At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any suggestion that the demand will decrease. Our appeal to residents is to please look after their health.”
Badroodien said they managed to expand six sites for graves.
He will also be opening another site in the Maitland Cemetery for 800 graves as the Muslim community has also been running short of burial space.