Pot, kettle…

Charles 2 Comments

Here is a hubristic report from the Co-operative College in Manchester on a fact-finding mission from South Africa. The mission came hard on the heels of helpful research by our own, dear Co-op into the ‘exorbitant’ cost of funerals in South African townships.

A much needed reduction in expensive funeral costs could be on the cards for residents in South African townships following a visit to the UK by a team from South Africa. After a week studying co-operative funeral provision in the UK, they are planning to set up co-operatives in Johannesburg to provide an affordable alternative to existing undertakers.

Said Stirling Smith, International Programmes Manager at the Co-operative College (SA): “it was great that our South African visitors could see for themselves how a co-operative business can be commercially successful and ethical. I must also thank Funeralcare for the arrangements. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they were very generous with their time and resources.”

Good luck to them. A funeral in Soweto costs the better part of a year’s wages.

Over here, in the light of the recent Ipsos MORI price comparison survey, we find that there’s still plenty of room for an ‘affordable alternative’.

Read the Co-op announcement here. Who do they think they are kidding?

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11 years ago

I find there’s nothing like a really good laugh – albeit a heartless and hollow one – to get the morning going.

11 years ago

Having spent some valuable learning time working at the Co-op, excited and ever-optimistic about their unbeatable heritage, in the end it was hard to see what was actually co-operative about them. Ipsos Mori indicates their prices do not compete, their salaries are notoriously low, their culture is to protect and apportion blame, and to standardise to avoid mistakes. Surely there are more relevant and up to date models for the South Africans to study? We should export the very best we have to offer.
I too was well put off by the self congratulatory tone of their press release.