The City of Cape Town says it has seen a decrease in burials in the past week. Picture: Brenton Geach/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The City of Cape Town says it has seen a decrease in burials in the past week. Picture: Brenton Geach/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

17% of all cremations in Cape Town since December have been Covid-19 related deaths

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Feb 17, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town says it has seen a decrease in burials in the past week.

In a statement late on Tuesday, mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said among the busiest cemeteries, Maitland had 125 burials, while Klip Road had 56 and Welmoed had 77 burials.

To date, an average of 17 percent of all cremations since December have been Covid-19 related fatalities. In February, approximately eight percent of cremations per week at the Maitland crematorium were linked to the coronavirus deaths.

Badroodien said the crematorium still had to limit its deliveries to the capacity of its storage and throughput, but was now able to manage the situation more carefully due to increased capacity.

He said the general increase in demand for burials and cremations had largely been reflected in the increase in burial services for destitute people.

“The increase in pauper and destitute burials is likely a reflection of the dire straits so many families find themselves in, so much so that they’re unable to bury a loved one. The city assists destitute families where they can,” the council member said.

“The city’s policy on Burial or Cremation of Destitute Persons of 2014 is still in effect, and there are no new procedures that undertakers are required to adhere to, aside from national regulations which require service providers in the funeral industry to take extra precautions in terms of personal protective equipment when collecting the deceased or managing a confirmed Covid-19 deceased person.”

He said following a natural death at home or in the community, the next of kin may apply for a destitute funeral with a choice of burial or cremation but this was subject to strict criteria such as the deceased not having a funeral policy or insurance and no greater income than a government grant.

The applicants also have to agree to a weekday funeral with basic funeral services.

African News Agency (ANA)

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