South Africa’s Energy Crisis Hits Funeral Homes Hard

South Africa’s funeral parlour industry is feeling the pinch as small and big scale mortuaries are experiencing the rise in maintaining cold room temperatures due to ongoing electricity blackouts.

Today, as part of our listening tour ahead of the State of the Nation Address, I visited the Lethukuthula Funeral Parlor in Witbank Mpumalanga, and the owner showed us how he spends thousands of rand per day to power generators to safeguard the dignity of the deceased and their loved ones.

“When the fridges are not operating and working, we are now faced with embalming bodies. It brings more costs and we battling to make ends meet because now the majority of the funds are going towards dealing with the outages explains Mr. Dennies Mkhawane.

In the African community, funerals don’t happen overnight. It takes up to about a week where you have bodies in your cold storage and you’ve got to make sure they don’t decompose in the process.

ActionSA believes that small funeral homes will close their businesses, causing job losses and loss of revenue, while an increase in funeral costs and increase in the premiums of funeral products which will place a further economic burden on the public.

Medupi and Kusile — that were scheduled to be completed within eight years at a total cost of 163 billion rand. But the construction process has been plagued by labor unrest, mismanagement and equipment defects. The likely price tag has since ballooned to more than 460 billion rand.

The ANC government, by not managing the continuous blackouts, forces South Africans to experience more than twice as many power cuts in 2022 than in any other year, and things are set to get worse in 2023.