As we Celebrate youth month in South Africa to commemorate the courage of the Class of 1976, we’d like to take a look at what the youth is doing today with regards to funerals. BMC public health did a study and concluded that in 16 countries, persons age 65 years or older had strikingly higher COVID-19 mortality rates compared to younger individuals, and men had a higher risk of COVID-19 death than women. This means that many families are now headed by a younger generation during cultural and funeral services. But how involved has the youth really become?
With signup for online funeral cover becoming a norm women aged between 24 and 35 have started searching for cover with sales thereof being spearheaded by men aged 30 to 45. The trend of youth getting involved in the service aspect has also seen an increase as described by Dineo Kutumelo, the manager of the Namakgale Branch “We’re seeing younger family members contacting our branches to plan a funeral. Before we’d have more elders visiting the branch but now we get emails sent to our branches to organize matters with our funeral coordinators. Our assigned consultants often offer the client their WhatsApp number and communicate with the family electronically because it is more convenient for the family and it has proven to be more accurate.” Funeral consultants at Two Mountains have always tried to keep in touch with families throughout the process of organizing a funeral and technology has enhanced this process. It has in turn given reliance of funeral arrangements to a younger generation aged 15 – 45 that account for 66% of the 2 billion daily WhatsApp users globally.
Katlego Mavimbela of the Germiston branch believes that youth have become more concerned in the cultural activity. “Our branch has seen sisters, children and relatives more within the younger generation taking care of business since the pandemic started and till now it has not subsided. Young people use to enquire more about the payouts but now they are coming in with even sneakers on to bring clothes, choose the cars, select one of our packages and leave instructions with our funeral consultants.” With COVID-19, more people were left as part of youth headed families and traditions are now in the hands of younger family members than before.
Death, COVID-19, youth headed families? It might seem like it is all doom and gloom but the reality is that the Youth with a plan are living longer. According to businesstech.co.za the average life expectancy in South Africa has been on a steady rise. “Data from StatsSA shows that between 2002 and 2020, the life expectancy of males in South Africa increased from 59.9 years to 64.6 years, and for females from 67.2 to 71.3 years.” Yes, the global pandemic has cast doubts in this aspect but the positive contributing factors continue and give us hope that the youth of today will live a longer life.
With all this in mind Two Mountains has designed burial packages that are more customizable – in addition to the traditional offerings – and have made it mandatory that all electronic customer interactions are given the necessary attention needed. We have introduced customer care email addresses to all our branches to ensure no electronic communication goes unanswered and have a whatsapp line for customers to not only enquire about a policy but to also get assistance from a branch and management in the event of a passing in the family.
If you or a loved one needs assistance give us a call on 0800 668 539, WhatsApp us on 082 385 2820 or DM us on social media. We will forward your request to the nearest branch to you and they will help you with our quality service.