They both succumbed to Covid-19 complications within a few hours of each other.
Phumeza died last Wednesday and Phumla passed away the following day.
Phumla, who was asthmatic, was admitted to Somerset Hospital at the beginning of December.
Their heartbroken mother, Sindiswa, 70, says her daughters were very close and she had hoped they would get better.
“Phumla was in the hospital for about five weeks after experiencing breathing difficulties,” she said.
“Her sister Phumeza experienced the same on Christmas Day and was admitted to Vincent Pallotti Hospital on December 27.”
She said they didn’t know how Phumeza got ill as she had been separated from her sister for weeks.
“Even the doctors told us that it is not possible that they infected each other,” said Sindiswa.
“Phumeza’s health deteriorated. Her lungs, heart and kidneys started not to function well and the doctors told us it was getting worse.”
The sad mother said that last Wednesday she received the dreaded call to say her daughter had died.
“The doctors said they tried everything but Phumeza’s lungs were not pumping enough oxygen. I called her sister in the hospital and told her that Phumeza had passed on.
“She cried and the following day we got another devastating call that Phumla had also passed.”
She believes Phumla, the younger of the twins, died of a broken heart.
“They were close to each other and did everything together. Even when they fought, an outsider could not get involved.”
The single moms each had two children, with Phumeza giving birth to twins in 2007. Phumla’s children were born in 2000 and 2008.
Phumeza worked at Telkom and Phumla at Old Mutual.
Scores of people shared their heartfelt condolences on social media, with local international clothing brand MaXhosa Africa also sending its condolences as Phumla was one of their loyal patrons.
She wore the brand with pride and posted pictures with founder Laduma on her social media pages.
Their mother says it has been difficult to process the news.
“My mother is 94 and they did everything for her. They planned her life, built us this home and spoilt her rotten,” said Sindiswa.
“My grandchildren are always crying now and locking themselves inside their rooms. I have to be strong for everyone, but it is difficult.”
Their funeral was set to be held in Langa on Tuesday.