The South African Cemeteries Association is urging municipalities to prepare


The South African Cemeteries Association (SACA) calls out the local government to make plans for worst-case scenarios.

South Africa currently has the largest number of coronavirus cases in Africa and is attempting to curb the rising number of infections through lockdowns and rolling out mass testing.

While the first deaths just started in the country at the end of March the numbers are quickly growing, which is why the South African Cemeteries Association is attempting to reach government officials and municipalities to be prepared for an increase in the death rate. 

While precautions are in place the association believes “our socio-economic conditions will nevertheless pose an incredible challenge to achieve the objective of containment measures. A large section of our population in excess of 5 million live in informal settlements and an even greater number (an excess of 13 million) live in townships. High density living as a result of this and other circumstances that force people together is unfortunately ideal for the spread of the pandemic. It is also evident that with high infection levels there will be an expected level of fatality.”

The association additionally states that “In anticipation of the increase in the death rate, municipalities are recommended to put plans in place if this has not already been done. Ideally remains should be cremated as is advised by the health authorities locally and internationally, however, this may pose a challenge as South Africa has very few crematorium facilities. The following recommendations are provided to guide municipalities.”

The South African Cemeteries Association Guidelines for the Preparation of Mass Burials and Cremation of COVID-19 Victims



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