Home Affairs slow to issue death certificates, bodies in EC pile up

Home Affairs slow to issue death certificates, bodies in EC pile up

- The Eastern Cape province continues to go from one crisis to another

- Funeral parlours in the province are complaining that they are struggling to keep up with the plethora of corpses due to Covid-19

- They have written to Premier Oscar Mabuyane and Home Affairs to voice their concerns

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Funeral parlours in the Eastern Cape are struggling to cope with the influx of corpses as Covid-19 infections continue to spike exponentially.

Desperate parlour owners are now appealing to Premier Oscar Mabuyane to devise a strategy to alleviate the backlog. The owners say more people are dying as quickly as they are burying the others.

The owners are also attributing the backlog to delays in death certificates being signed off, without which bodies cannot be released to families for burial or cremation.

Funeral parlours in the Eastern Cape are complaining abut Home Affairs taking long to issue death certificates., resulting in burial delays.

Funeral parlours in the Eastern Cape are complaining abut Home Affairs taking long to issue death certificates, resulting in burial delays.
Source: Depositphotos

READ ALSO: Probe into EC Health Department scooters reveals inconsistencies

DispatchLIVE reported that South African Funeral Parlour Association (SAFPA) secretary Khanya Maxathana said owners had written to Mabuyane and the Department of Home Affairs

SAFPA is asking them to come up with a plan whereby corpses could be buried within three days rather than the current five-day waiting period.

Maxathana added that they were unable to bury bodies without death certificates

Maxathana said:

"The date of the funeral is determined by the day the death certificate is issued. We wrote to Home Affairs and asked that there be a specific queue that deals with death certificates so that the process can be fast-tracked, but we never got a reply."

He added that the death rate is very high due to the pandemic and they cannot bury a body without a certificate being issued. This is because of issues such as insurance fraud.

Maxathana said families are frustrated and traumatised because they cannot bury their loved ones.

The Eastern Cape currently has 44 432 confirmed Covid-19 deaths and 610 deaths.

Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that chaos ensured after the widow of a deceased man was barred from viewing his body after her husband died.

Retired nurse Nomsa Noda, 67, relayed her tragic ordeal after burying the wrong person instead of her late husband.

Noda was refused permission to view her husband's body at the hospital mortuary after he died from Covid-19.

Noda ended up burying the wrong person instead of her late husband, Vukile Noda.

The undertaker had reportedly known about the mix-up ahead of the funeral but had not had the courage to reveal the mistake to the family. The Uitenhage widow was left distraught.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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