REGULATIONS require that bodies be wrapped in at least two plastics to prevent the spread of infections.
But this has resulted in some undertakers taking advantage of the situation.
They apparently force families to buy expensive caskets instead of bigger coffins. They claim that the wrapped bodies no longer fit the standard coffins.
Frustrated Tshepo Ndaba (56) from Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, told Daily Sun he had to pay R7 000 for a casket for his wife, even though he had paid R350 a month on a funeral policy.
“I felt this was unfair. There are families who can’t afford to pay that extra money,” he said.
“I think undertakers are taking advantage of the situation.”
Ndaba said the policy he had been paying for years covered a standard coffin.
He said it made him even angrier that the casket with his wife’s body had been taken to the cemetery in a van instead of a hearse.
“The undertaker told me new Covid-19 regulations demanded they transport corpses in vans,” he said.
“I felt humiliated. I paid for years and my wife’s last journey was in a van.” This was disrespectful.”
Ndaba felt the Department of Health and the undertakers are bullying people.
Ndaba said his wife died on 22 June and he received a call from the Gauteng Department of Health that he had to bury his wife within three days.
“I had to bury her out of my pocket,” he said.
Ndaba said grieving for his wife had been marred by arguments: the hospital initially refused that he identify her.
“Had I not insisted on seeing her, I could have buried the wrong body,” he said.
“Undertakers are making money out of our tears.”
The Department of Health said regulations had been put in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Johan Rousseau of Funeral Industry Reformed Association said there are oversized coffins which undertakers can order instead of caskets.
“It’s a plain greed. They are just exploiting vulnerable families,” he said.
“It’s a pity there’s no Ombudsman where people can complain. We warn people not to be taken for a ride.”
The Funeral parlour GS Mortuary in Vosloorus owner Gabisile Nkosi said the husband seems to have no problem at the time he was choosing the casket.
“The mortuary say they using vans not hearse so the drivers should not be in contact with the body and get infections” said Nkosi