Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
22 Jul 2020
5:00 am

Funeral practitioners knee-deep in death

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Funeral practitioners say they have been seeing more than twice the number of dead as usual, while government's inability to issue death certificates fast enough means bodies are piling up in their fridges.

The body storage facilities at Sopema Funeral Services are seen, 21 July 2020, at their premises in Soweto. Used for illustrative purposes Picture: Michel Bega

The South African Funeral Practitioners Association says Covid-19 deaths could be up to three times higher than what government statistics reflect, as funeral parlours were overwhelmed with the influx of bodies this winter. According to the association’s spokesperson and director of Sopema Funerals, Monageng Legae has had a busy week, and it is only Tuesday. On Monday, he bought a mobile cold storage facility to deal with the overflow at his mortuary facility, which is the result of a combination of the higher numbers of deaths and government's inability to keep up with the issuing of death certificates. Families often...