A crematorium in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, was completely destroyed during the unrest and riots in the area.
Video footage widely circulated on social media depicted the aftermath of the destruction, with the crematorium's windows all broken, the storage facilities where the gas bottles were kept looted, and the chapel where services were conducted ransacked.
Rioters also set parts of the building alight on Wednesday night.
Chairperson of the crematorium, Anook Singh, said the community was devastated.
"We have no words. This is where people come to rest," he said,
He said the area was still very volatile and that locals needed a police escort to get into the neighbourhood.
“The damage is very extensive. The area is near an informal settlement and it is currently a no-go zone.”’
"Heartbroken" crematorium owner Thalwant Singh said he belongs to "a society that assists people".
"I have gotten calls for people wanting cremations but now I have to refuse these families.”
He said they have lost their entire business and while they were insured, it would take a long time to rebuild as the necessary equipment would have to come from other parts of the country.