The Eskom load shedding is causing corpses to rot a the state mortuary in Ga-Rankuwa causing trauma among the residents.
The Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (GDID), which is in charge of the generators at Gauteng’s eight provincial mortuaries and performs autopsy for all unnatural deaths, has been blamed for having a history of providing sub-standard service.
Ms Zinzi Mampuru, a community member, said the funeral directors are complaining that they are receiving corpses from the mutuary in a bad state which upsets the clients.
“This is heartbreaking and underlines once more the urgency of the DA’s request to shut down the corrupt and useless GDID and transfer maintenance to health facilities that will perform it more effectively,” she said.
Since February 2022, there has been no functioning emergency generator which results in a complete power cut every time there is load shedding.
This has caught the community by surprise and family members traumatized.
One of the mortuary workers who spoke to Ga-Rankuwa Times said string occurrences began on February 26 when an Eskom substation fell and the backup generator failed. The transfer of corpses to the Pretoria Forensic Laboratory Service facility began on February 27 and did not stop until 1 March 2022. It was claimed that the fuel tank needed to be cleaned when the generator failed once more on 5 March 2022.
On March 10, it was discovered that the generator at the Ga-Rankuwa morgue required a new alternator. However, the GDID stated that despite numerous requests, they were having trouble obtaining purchase order approval since some of the approving officials were suspended.
The Mutuary worker said the old alternator was used when GDID serviced the generator on 26 May 2022 and as a result, if there is a power cut, the GDID must be called to manually start the generator.
He added that according to the most recent information, the GDID Supply Chain Management Unit has not yet approved the nomination of a contractor by the Tshwane office.
Gauteng Health MEC, Ms Nomathemba Mokgethi, said the crisis is caused mostly by a malfunctioning emergency generator.
“We deeply regret the occurrence and promise to make amends to the residents of Ga-Rankuwa as soon as we can,” she said.