The Gauteng health department has clarified that it has not dug a total 1.5 million graves for deaths which will occur owing to the Covid- 19 coronavirus in the province. In a statement released on Thursday, the department explained that this was the capacity of graves which can be prepared in the province. The confusion arose when Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku addressed the media but did not clarify that this was not the expected number of deaths. He was visiting one of the gravesites in Tshwane, where there is capacity for 24 000 graves. This caused panic and a social media uproar where many questioned why government was not instead investing in more infrastructure to ensure that the number of deaths is lessened.
The purpose of the visit was to ensure that the city would not be caught off-guard in the event of scores of Covid-19 deaths. The grave sites will add to 12 000 graves available in Ga-Rankuwa and 92 000 in Soshanguve and Klip-Kruisfontein. There are 60 000 at Zandfontein and 4 000 in Lotus Garden, while Olievenhoutbosch has 10 000 and Laudium has 2 000. Gauteng has more than 1.5 million graves for Covid-19-related deaths.
Kekana added that the provincial government would be improving and increasing both the infrastructure and human resource capacity of the health system to deal with the increasing pressure from the pandemic. DA member of the provincial legislature Jack Bloom believes that while it is prudent to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, Masuku’s comments are causing needless panic and should be withdrawn.
“The collective number of deaths worldwide is about 550 000; there is no scenario in which there would be so many Covid-19 deaths in Gauteng.
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also took to social media on Thursday to express his dismay over the matter. “How contemptible is the fact that ANC government prepares land for burial & death, but not for life and the living? You are better dead to them than alive! “How can they dish 1 million graves with so much speed, yet everywhere the landless are being violently evicted from land?” he questioned on Twitter.
The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) has moved to explain Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku’s comments on over 1.5 million grave sites being prepared. Masuku said more than 1.5 million grave sites were being prepared. “The province does not have over a million already open dug graves, the over a million graves refers to the collective capacity municipalities can take,” the statement read. The Honingnestkrans cemetery, north of Pretoria, has space for 24 000 single graves on the 30 hectare plot of land.
According to MEC Maile, Emfuleni has awarded the grave digging contract to Sobangena Trading JV Spinks Trading and Inkokheli Business Enterprise with effect from 24 May 2018 till 23 April 2021. Sobangena Trading JV Spinks Trading has been paid R2 266 782.47 and Inkokheli Business Enterprise has been paid R 3 173 397.18.
In total, the municipality has paid R 5 440 179.65 for grave digging. MEC Maile states that Emfuleni does not have the capacity to render the grave digging service internally.
“It is worrying that this municipality which is facing a serious cash flow problem continues to outsource services that can be done internally. This money could have been used to buy necessary equipment and tools needed for grave digging as well as creating employment opportunities for the local residents,” says Kingsol Chabalala MPL – DA Constituency Head for Emfuleni North.
The DA calls on MEC Maile to clamp down on unnecessary outsourcing in Emfuleni as part of his interventions to save this municipality.
Burial – The grave should be at least 2 meters deep.
Bandile Masuku, LUR vir gesondheid in Gauteng, het Woensdag die Honingnestkrans-begraafplaas in Pretoria besoek en sê dié begraafplaas vir mense wat aan Covid-19 sterf, het plek vir sowat 36 000 grafte.
Gauteng is preparing mass graves in case the number of people dying from COVID-19 increases drastically.
According to MEC Maile, Emfuleni has awarded the grave digging contract to Sobangena Trading JV Spinks Trading and Inkokheli Business Enterprise with effect from 24 May 2018 till 23 April 2021. Sobangena Trading JV Spinks Trading has been paid R2 266 782.47 and Inkokheli Business Enterprise has been paid R 3 173 397.18. In total, the municipality has paid R 5 440 179.65 for grave digging.
Mass graves TENDERS Massa grafte