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Gauteng is not digging 1.5 million graves – the number is the capacity availabl


Assessing burial capacity in Gauteng is part of the Covid-19 response plan, but is in no way a suggestion the deaths will reach that point.

These were the remarks made by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku on Thursday as he sought to explain comments he made about the preparation of grave sites in the province.

On Wednesday, Masuku was quoted as saying: “We are preparing over 1.5 million grave sites, it is an uncomfortable discussion as a medical practitioner.”

Masuku added that it’s a “reality we need to deal with, and we need to be prepared”.

“It’s important that we remind our public that it still remains our responsibility to make sure that we don’t get there.”

READ | Gauteng health dept explains comments about 1.5 million graves ahead of Covid-19 spike

Later, Masuku visited the Honingnestkrans cemetery, in the north of Pretoria, to assess the state of readiness of cemeteries in the event that many people die over a short space of time because of the virus.


The Honingnestkrans cemetery has space for 24 000 single graves on the 30-hectare plot of land.*

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