The funeral industry in South Africa has appealed to the Department of Home Affairs to extend working hours, including working over weekends, as it struggles to cope with high mortality numbers related to Covid-19.
The second wave of the pandemic has hit the industry hard as it runs short of coffin supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
This, accompanied by delays in document processes, has raised concerns as it affects the entire value chain of funerals, says the South African Funeral Parlours’ Association.
“A death certificate is a very important document, it helps the bereaved to access finances and if delayed that could have crippling effects on the families,” said Ndabe Ngcobo of the South African Funeral Parlours’ Association.
“We have appealed to the Department of Home Affairs to extend their working hours, including Saturdays and Sundays,” Ngcobo said.
Among other challenges that remain a concern for the industry is a shortage of coffins as Covid-19 deaths surge countrywide.
“We have a challenge with the supply of coffins. Manufactures are overwhelmed and what is happening is nothing like we have seen before,” said Ngcobo.