Skeleton staff, expedited booking times and increased frequency of burials are among new guidelines announced by the city of Johannesburg regarding burials and cremations during the 21-day lockdown period announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Member of the mayoral committee (MMC) responsible for community development Margeret Arnolds outlined the measures in a statement issued on Thursday.
“In the light of the 21-day lockdown period, the following temporary measures have been put in place to comply with the regulations that have been gazetted by the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta)” said Arnolds.
These temporary measures are intended to enforce the required behaviours as they relate to social distancing, limits in movement and public gatherings.
The following measures have been put in place and are in effect immediately as of the issuance of this statement:
- Funeral-booking offices will be opened from (Monday – Friday) with skeleton officials.
- Burial and cremation bookings can be processed within a 24-hour notice period.
- Burials will be conducted daily to reduce weekend congestions.
- Re-open (re-use of graves) applications are subjected to a 48-hour notice period.
- All burial processions should have less than 50 people gathering at any given time with the emphasis being on fewer if possible.
- Cremations services are limited to less than 40 people at the chapel and will be undertaken on a daily basis.
- Funeral ushering services will be in place.
- TLB’s will be made available to assist with grave closures during this period only.
- Grave-tracing processes will be halted during the lockdown period.
- The public is encouraged to adhere to all health and safety measures that are in place and practice social-distancing during all funerals processes.
“As a city, we are taking these drastic measures to ensure compliance with the national state of disaster declared and to assist our residents to bury their loved ones in dignity whilst also protecting themselves and those around them from infection. We plead with bereaved families to take caution and to adhere to these guidelines,” concluded Arnolds.