Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
27 Jul 2020
6:58 pm

Undertakers spend R3 million a week on PPE

Rorisang Kgosana

The country's undertakers are being swamped by a flood of Covid-19 deaths, which means they not only have to shell out more for storage and special burial supplies, but PPE for workers as well.

A worker at Sopema Funeral Services cleans the premises, 21 July 2020, in Soweto. CEO Monageng Legae says due to the coronavirus the funeral industry is also facing its own struggles with unbudgeted increases in the funeral processes. He has also been forced to increase his mortuary facilities to cope with an expected increase in deaths. Picture: Michel Bega

An estimated R3 million per week is what the funeral industry now has to spend on additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and extra safety measures, while the industry is inundated with funerals. Funeral homes and undertakers had to expand their usual PPE to include overalls and respirators, in line with safety measures imposed by the Disaster Management Act on handling bodies during the Covid-19 pandemic. This, however, means more PPE would have to be used from the time of collecting the deceased from the hospital to when they are laid to rest at the cemetery, says SA Funeral Practitioners Association....