Community Safety

Residents Urged To Avoid Use of Shovels for Closing Graves to Curb COVID-19

Bereaving families burying their loved ones in Ekurhuleni are encouraged to make their own arrangements for closing of graves after internment as the City has temporarily suspended the closing of graves by municipal workers to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The temporary suspension of these services is due to reduced staff complement and to protect workers from COVID-19 exposure. While the use of shovels is a traditional method of closing graves by families, this method is not encouraged as it might aggravate the spread of COVID-19 since they have to be shared by many people.

As such, the City requests residents to make prior arrangements with the funeral parlour or amongst family members to control the closure of graves after burial in the safest way that could assist in curbing the spread of COVID-19 virus at the gravesite.

Divisional Head for Parks and Cemeteries Emmanuel Maphorogo pleads with residents to bear with the City as it puts all systems in place to provide resourceful services at gravesites to afford all residents dignified burial spaces.

“We have a challenge of staff shortage at the City’s cemeteries due to many being in quarantine, while others have succumbed to COVID-19. We therefore plead with residents to make prior arrangements concerning the closure of graves after burial with funeral parlours or amongst themselves as families to close graves in the safest way possible. The City can no longer offer the services of the tractor-loader-backhoe (TLB) to close graves. We do this in an effort to try to spare the lives of the officials.”