The African Funeral Practitioners Organization (AFPO) in the North West has called for government's intervention to ensure that COVID-19 lockdown regulations are adhered to at funerals.
Funerals have been identified as one of the super-spreaders of the coronavirus.
AFPO’s call comes as the country is battling a second wave of COVID-19 that is characterised by a new variant called 501 Y.V2 that spreads faster than the original one.
AFPO’s deputy chairperson, Diteko Ndimande, said intervention is needed, particularly in rural areas.
“Our workers are really not finding it easy, especially in rural areas. There is no policing to ensure that people adhere to the COVID-19 lockdown regulations and that only 50 people may attend a funeral service. That is our main challenge. We as undertakers... as much as we would want to see these regulations adhered to, it becomes very difficult because we can’t instruct the families not to allow more than 50 people during funeral services because the families are our customers,” Ndimande said.
North West police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, advised funeral parlours to alert station commanders when they experience challenges.
“Police in the province working together with other law enforcement officials are working hard to enforce the Disaster Management Act regulations. It is, however, extremely disappointing and totally unacceptable that some members of the public deliberately contravene the regulations, including exceeding the number of people allowed to attend a funeral.
“In case undertakers have challenges or suspect that regulations are being contravened, they are advised to directly contact station commanders for assistance and intervention,” said Mokgwabone.
The level 3 lockdown regulations permits only up to 50 people to attend a funeral.