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Funeral association struggling to provide coffins as COVID-19 numbers climb

Undertakers are saying they are running short of coffins.

Undertakers at the People's Choice Funerals and Mortuary prepare a coffin for burial. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Funeral Practitioners Association (Safpa) said it’s now struggling with providing coffins as the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to climb.

Since March last year, the country has recorded 36 thousand and 851 deaths with the eastern cape leading the death toll.

With the country hit by a second wave of COVID-19, funeral undertakers are expected to deal with more bodies.

Reports say in the first week of this month funeral parlours witnessed an increase of more than 70% in burials.

Now undertakers are saying they are running short of coffins.

Safpa spokesperson Vuyo Mabindisa said, “There’s a lot of shortage, you can order five coffins and 10 for the weekend, then you end up having more bodies to bury then you end up short.”

In the Western Cape, undertakers are concerned over the delay in the issuing of death certificates saying this has a crippling effects on families since they need to claim from funeral policies.

This is despite the extension of working hours at home affairs offices across the country.

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