Funeral homes are in high demand

27 05 2008


by Syanda Ngcobo

The increases of funeral home in Grahamstown, does mean there are more deaths than elsewhere. Grahamstown is a small town with about 150 000 population This small town have more than ten funeral parlours and the 11th one is coming soon. The most question that comes to the minds of  journalists, is Grahamstown experience more deaths than any town in South Africa?

 One of the owners of Funeral parlours says Grahamstown experience more deaths during winter season. She says there are more deaths in winter because people especially this time of the year poor and old people tend to die more because they lack heater and do not have proper nutrition and no proper shelter. Old people die because of cold weather while young ones die because of HIV/AIDS. Some young people kill one another when there are drunk. This is not a phenomenon problem facing Grahamstown citizens only, but is threat for the whole South Africa  No one can argue that many people are not dying because of HIV/AIDS.

 One may say that lose for another is the benefit for the other person, it is a zero sum game, because the more people die the more funeral parlour making tons of money. On the other side the poor residents have to go to banks and cash loans to borrow money to cover funeral expenses. One of the funeral parlours directors said that when more people dying he make good money. People would come buy coffins, hire hearse, bus (sometimes) thumb stone. The industry is very busy in Grahamstown,

Some people believes that its about time to go back to their olden ways of burying their loved ones. One of the Grahamstown residents says it was much better during time of Makana because people were covered with cow’s skins, or old blankets, but today funeral has become a form of a party or something. If you do not have money to make a funeral to be on the standard you become a laughing stock to the whole community. So, if you do not have money you have to go and borrow it, but at the end you end up left with nothing to eat.

 Some Grahamtowns citizens do not like to hear the idea about new funeral service that has been build. They use our death, pain and suffering to rich themselves. One of the resident even said these people have something to do with growth of death in their town. Why do we have lot of funeral parlours and they make them feel uncomfortable especial the ones that are build in the townships

However the directors of these funeral homes do not only give customers what they have paid for, but they also offer emotional support to mourning families.