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Get land for mass Covid-19 burials - Mpumalanga municipalities told

Mass burials are expected
Mass burials are expected
Image: 123rf.com/emelphoto

Mpumalanga municipalities have been instructed to start preparing mass graves in case the province is hit by deaths related to Covid-19.

Mandla Msibi, MEC for coporative governance and traditional affairs in Mpumalanga said due to “the fact” that people are not adhering to the lockdown regulations and flooding streets and towns, the province might experience what the likes of Wuhan in China and Italy experienced.

“As the provincial command team, we have instructed our 17 municipalities to start preparing land for mass graves. This thing is spreading like a wild fire, we are anticipating worse situations...” said Msibi.

Msibi said there would be graves for only Covid-19 deaths

“Like June, July, we believe that will be the peak for this virus that is why we fear for the worst. Remember, we are screening and testing people in all houses. Ordinarily, we have to screen and test people, but we are doing screening only. But we have identified Nkomazi for testing straight, that is why Nkomazi is the most affected area which means we are testing people,” said Msibi.

The Nkomazi municipality in Malalane have the biggest number of Covid-19 infections in the province.

Last month, the South African Cemeteries Association (SACA) urged municipalities to plan ahead.

“If 5,000 people in Nkomazi, for an example, can be infected by this disease at a go, the funeral parlours will be overwhelmed by the demand. If you want to bury your own and in some cases, conduct some rituals before burying, that won’t be possible [as] we need to adapt to the new situation, hence we told municipalities to prepare such land for separate burials,” Msibi said.

Msibi said either communal or municipal land, municipalities needs to be ready.

He also said if there’s a farm where a municipality doesn’t have land, they should start negotiating with the farm owner.


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