Undertakers turn to generators

Life as we know it will change throughout South Africa for at least the next five to eight years thanks to load-shedding.

Life as we know it will change throughout South Africa for at least the next five to eight years thanks to load-shedding.

Businesses in particular have been hard hit and they never know when outages will occur.

Like many other businesses that cannot rely on Eskom for power, undertakers are flocking to buy their own generators.

Jacob Ramabodu of the Thaba Funeral Service in Bloemfontein, Free State, said eight years is a long time for a business not to have a back-up system.

"I have paid R27000 for a generator that has the capacity to run a fridge that keeps six bodies.

"But I will have to pay more for installation, money that no one budgets for," he said.

"The public is not stupid and will only go to businesses that have a generator. Those without will lose out."

Ramabodu said if an undertaker experienced outages about four times a week and they lasted for more than two hours, they would have to take the decomposing body straight to the grave.

Washington Mulauzi of Chiawelo Undertakers in Soweto said he would also need a generator.

"I will have to save a lot of money to buy one," he said.

Grant Kerr of Kerr's Funeral Directors in Johannesburg said his generator cost him R50000 before installation.

He said a back-up power system was essential for his line of business because load-shedding was here to stay.

"The fact that the government knew 10 years ago about this problem makes it so unfair for them to say we must accept and live with it," he said.

X