26 July 2022 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality’s role in managing of human remains

Media Release: Garden Route DM’s role in managing of human remains

For Immediate Release
25 July 2022

The disposal of the dead, also known as the management of human remains, is one of the nine municipal health functions performed by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) assigned to local governments under the National Health Act 2003 (Act no. 61 of 2003).

According to the National Health Act, handling of human remains, transportation, and funeral undertakers’ facilities must all be inspected and monitored at least twice a year. However, ongoing monitoring is also required. Environmental health inspections include identifying, monitoring, and assessing health risks, nuisances, and hazards at funeral homes. Where necessary, corrective and preventative actions are implemented.

The main functions of EHPs in the management of human remains is as follows:

  • EHPs ensure that funeral homes are operating under current certificates. Upon confirmation that the facility complies with environmental health regulations, a certificate of competency is issued.
  • EHPs further ensure that handling, collection, storage, and disposal of waste, including health care risk waste, comply with SANS 10248, Norms and Standards for waste management.
  • Conduct risk assessment to identify potential health hazards from the preparation and storage of human remains.
  • Provide health education and awareness on proper hygiene practices as well as water and sanitation practices.
  • Ensures that the funeral undertaker premises have a pest control plan and that pest control services are performed at least once a month.
  • In case of non-compliant after an inspection, the relevant EHP will liaise with the owner of the funeral undertaker.
  • After each inspection, the EHPs ensure that the inspection report indicates the condition of the premises and relevant health recommendations are provided to the owner or person in charge.
  • EHPs ensure that a database of all premises in their area used for handling, preparing, and storing human remains is maintained.
  • EHPs must ensure that all facilities and equipment used in connection with the handling, preparation, storage, preservation, and transportation of human remains adhere to the regulation relating to the management of human remains, in accordance with National Health Act 61 of 2003.

For any further information, please contact us at the respective regional offices within the Garden Route District Municipality:

Klein Karoo Region

Mr. Desmond Paulse

Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241

Cell: +27(0)83 678 6530

Address: 94 St John Street, Oudtshoorn

Kanaland Region

Mr. George Hendriksz

Tel: +27(0)44 272 2241

Cell: +27(0)82 907 3492

Address: 15 Regent Street, Oudtshoorn

Mossel Bay

Mr. Sam Bendle

Tel:  +27(0)44 693 0006

Cell: +27(0)83 630 6108

Address C/O Sampson & Marling Street, Ext 23, Mossel Bay.

George Outeniqua

Ms. Emmy Douglas

Tel: +27(0)44 803 1501

Cell: +27(0)78 457 2824

Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George, 6530

George Wilderness

Mr. Pieter Raath

Tel: +27(0)44 803 1501

Cell: +27(0)83 644 8858

Address: Mission Street, Industrial Area, George

Knysna Region

Mr. James McCarthy

Tel: +27(0)44 382 7214

Cell: +27(0)82 805 9417

Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

Bitou Region

Mr. Gawie Vos

Tel: +27(0)44 501 1600

Cell: +27(0)83 557 1522

Address: 7 Gibb Street, Plettenberg Bay

Hessequa Region

Mr. Haemish Herwels

Tel: +27(0)28 713 2438

Cell: +27(0)83 678 6545

Address: 23 Michell Street, Riversdale, 6670

 

Mr. Johan Compion

Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services

Cell: +27(0)82 803 5161

E-mail: info@gardenroute.gov.za

Tel: 044 803 1300