The funeral insurance and burial business generates around R9bn a year in SA. Inevitably, however, there are unscrupulous operators who prey on the bereaved, and even formal service providers aren’t always highly rated — hence calls for closer regulation and the appointment of an industry ombudsman Bhaseka Mofokeng’s late wife Sarah had a funeral policy, meant to cover the costs when she died, with a popular funeral parlour that has outlets in townships across the country. She had been contributing R200/month for more than a year when she died on December 26. So the parlour took her body to its mortuary in Springs. "We went to the mortuary on December 29 to prepare burial arrangements. We asked the lady in charge at the mortuary to show us the coffin Sarah had been paying for. We were told that the coffin was out of stock and that they only had coffins costing R40,000 and above," says Mofokeng."Since we didn’t have that kind of money, we decided to use the services of another compan...

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