The Grassy Park, Klip Road cemetery is one of the cemeteries in the City that has been recording an increase in burials weekly. Picture: Supplied
The Grassy Park, Klip Road cemetery is one of the cemeteries in the City that has been recording an increase in burials weekly. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town cemeteries are hives of activity with more than 500 burials a week

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Jul 22, 2021

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Cape Town - Whether it is natural deaths, increased deaths due to Covid-19 or unnatural deaths due to the ongoing taxi violence and gang shootings, Cape Town cemeteries are hives of activity with more than 500 burials a week.

The City’s community services and health department said during the past few weeks it noted that cemeteries within the metro were recording more and more burials.

Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien said the increase in the burial figures underscores the increase in Covid-19 infections and fatalities since the start of the third wave.

“The figures we are seeing are not encouraging and we have to renew our appeal to residents to please consider burials on weekdays and where possible, to consider alternatives to burial.

“For the moment, our cemeteries can cope with the increased demand. However, the jump from just over 300 in a week to almost 500 per week is concerning,” he said.

Badroodien said City’s environmental health practitioners expressed concern about the non-adherence to regulations at funerals. Last week Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park facilitated 151 burials, while Maitland cemetery had 126 and Welmoed 76 burials.

“Last week we had 483 burials at cemeteries across the City. This third wave is proving to be devastating, and while we realise how difficult it is to manage funerals in the times we are living in, I appeal to the public to please keep personal safety and the health protocols top of mind at all times.

“In the past week, there were 485 fatalities and a six percent increase in hospital admissions. We cannot afford to drop our guard. Too many people are losing loved ones still, and so it remains critical to continue adhering to the basic health protocols,” said Badroodien.

Johnston Road cemetery chairperson Abdullah Salie said: “The current situation is very critical. If something doesn’t change soon we are going to be sitting with great problems that we will not be able to handle.”

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Cape Argus

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