S.Africa: Coffin industry booming due to AIDS

WARNING: This is Version 1 of my old archive, so Photos will NOT work and many links will NOT work. But you can find articles by searching on the Titles. There is a lot of information in this archive. Use the SEARCH BAR at the top right. Prior to December 2012; I was a pro-Christian type of Conservative. I was unaware of the mass of Jewish lies in history, especially the lies regarding WW2 and Hitler. So in here you will find pro-Jewish and pro-Israel material. I was definitely WRONG about the Boeremag and Janusz Walus. They were for real.

Original Post Date: 2005-02-28  Posted By: Jan

From the News Archives of: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
Date & Time Posted: 2/28/2005 5:59:06 AM
S.Africa: Coffin industry booming due to AIDS

<meta name='keywords' content='SAfrica,Coffin,industry,booming,due,to,AIDS,Gods,Grim,Reaper,going,about,his,business,among,the,Black,population,Jan



S.Africa: Coffin industry booming due to AIDS

From the News Archives of: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org

Date & Time Posted: 2/28/2005 5:59:06 AM

S.Africa: Coffin industry booming due to AIDS

[God’s Grim Reaper going about his business among the Black population… Jan]

Malelane – Nkomazi is the dusty epicentre of an almost invisible holocaust in Mpumalanga.

The only sign that this former Bantustan dumping ground of 13 villages east of the capital, Nelspruit, is Mpumalanga’s Aids death zone is the unusually low numbers of adults – and the visible boom in funeral houses and coffin factories.

The demand for coffins is so high that even local NGOs such as the Thembalethu Home-based Care Centre have been forced to get involved.

“We started out helping tend to terminally ill villagers, nursing them when everyone else had abandoned them. Then, when they died, we started helping to bury those who couldn’t afford the prices charged by undertakers,” says Thembalethu chief executive Sally McKibbin.

“In the beginning it was just a funeral here or there. Now, we are burying 20 people per month, and would be burying many more if we had the money.”

All those assisted by Thembalethu died of Aids related causes.

Extended families in Nkomazi clubbed together in the past to help pay for coffins, burials and vigils. The system worked well, McKibbin says, when death was an infrequent event.

“Now death is a daily occurrence. People here are extremely poor and just can’t afford paying for funeral after funeral.

Pauper burials

“Virtually every family has lost someone to Aids, and with savings wiped out there is no money anymore to afford nice coffins or proper ceremonies,” she says.

“Bodies often lie uncollected at mortuaries for up to six weeks, with fridge fees of up to R300 a day, before pauper burials are finally arranged.”

That’s where Thembalethu coffin maker Jackson Thobela steps in and helps.

“I was a furniture-maker before. But there wasn’t much business. There is far more demand for coffins, especially these cheaper hardboard coffins that cost just R250 each. More traditional wood or chipboard coffins cost a minimum of R1 200 – much more than a year’s school fees,” says Thobela.

“I’ve been doing this for three years now, and each year the demand doubles.”

It doubles because a staggering 45% of local pregnant women are believed to be HIV positive – far higher than the official 37% figure for the Ehlanzeni region, of which Nkomazi forms part.

An additional 25% of Nkomazi’s male and non-pregnant population is believed to be HIV-positive, with local careworkers reporting that at least 30 people die of Aids-related causes in each of the region’s 13 villages each month.

Funerals have become so common that Thembalethu drivers have been trained to officiate as stand-in priests these days. Many other “lay” villagers also perform the grim duty, with the funeral “rush hour” beginning at about 06:00 on Saturday mornings, and continuing in shifts until the sun sets on Nkomazi’s congested graveyards.

“They say death is good business, but I would stop making coffins any day if only we could fight this Aids thing, and stop it from stealing our people,” says Thobela.

Source: News24.Com