A glimmer of hope for Verulam funeral parlour
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Durban - SLOWLY but surely, the owner of Impindela Omuhle Funerals in Verulam, north of Durban, is hopeful that his business can rise again after it was affected by the looting and unrest in July.
The funeral parlour owner, Zamokuhle Ncanana, said that he was working hard to ensure that the business survives not only the Covid-19 pandemic but the unrest as well and avoids retrenching staff.
During the unrest, a number of businesses experienced mass looting and damage to their infrastructure, and Ncanana’s business, at Yusuf Gardens Centre in Verulam, was no exception.
According to Ncanana, his premises, in Verulam CBD, was hit by looters in July.
“They took everything and damaged the business. The computers, photocopy machine, desks and chairs were all gone when I came in the morning. My heart was so sore, and I felt like I was losing my mind.
“The pain of having to see something you have built with hard work over the years destroyed in that manner was too much for me to handle,” he said.
Ncanana said the company was registered in 2015 and employed about four staff, adding that the damage experienced due to the looting amounted to R30 000.
“I didn’t know where to go or whatto do because the business was not yet insured because it was still new. I never imagined that there would be such a riot. I am very happy that the landlords managed to fix the building.”
He said that through the assistance of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC, he was able to purchase replacements for the goods that had been looted and get the business back on track.
Ncanana said that without the assistance of the chamber, the business would have closed down completely.
He added that the business was further hard hit as people were reluctant to continue paying their monthly premiums.
“It does feel like we are starting from scratch. We’ve lost a number of customers due to this, and it’s hard to sustain the business going forward. I’m hoping that in a few months’ time the business will be back to normal and we’ll be able to regain customers,” he said.
He said that as a business owner, he hoped there would not be a recurrence of the unrest as he feared he might not be able to rebuild again.
“I don’t want to lie, I do have that fear about my business. Even though everything is now back to normal, we still operate in fear and pray that there isn’t more looting. I’m also happy that I managed to retain all the staff,” Ncanana said.
The businessman added that he was hopeful about the future as he wanted to open new branches in other areas.
He said this would also help create jobs in the city.