Cemeteries reopened amid heavy rains

2015-07-29 11:50

(Tanya van Zyl)

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AGAINST South African Weather Services’ advice the Metro decided to reopen cemeteries for bereaved families to bury their loved ones, said Metro spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki.

Mniki said they had reopened the Matanzima, Kabah, Missionvale and Motherwell cemeteries but the Gerald Smith Cemetery would remain closed for now.

“This decision has been taken following site visits on July 24, by municipal Parks and Cemetery officials to all municipal cemeteries in Nelson Mandela Bay to assess the latest situation around the flooding challenge and the level of improvement that has set in since July 23.

Mniki said the Municipality’s primary concern was to ensure that bereaved families can bury their loved ones in safety and dignity.

“However, inspections have satisfied the institution that, unless the situation changes drastically, the flood problem in some of the recently closed municipal cemeteries has sufficiently improved to allow them to be reopened.

Mniki said while this was against the advice of the South African Weather Services, which predicted heavy rains for the past weekend, July 24-25; they felt it was the right thing to do to reopen the cemeteries where the situation has improved. “The Municipality will monitor the situation on an ongoing basis,” he added.

The badly waterlogged cemeteries due to the recent heavy rains were closed for two days from July 22.

Undertakers Vantyi and Vantyi in Zwide, Algoa Funeral Services, as well as Shweme Zilamkhonto in Njoli, said the closure of cemeteries by the metro had not had any effect on their business.

“This information has been communicated to burial societies, which will in turn communicate the news to bereaved families. The Municipality will quickly communicate with the affected people or societies if there is any change in the current position,” said Mniki.

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