Faulty cremator at Mountain Rise adds to families’ woe

2015-10-16 09:45
Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela tests the new cremator at the Mountain Rise Cemetery at the handover by the contractors on August?16, 2013. With him is the contractor James Fairbrass, MD of SA Incinerator Company.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela tests the new cremator at the Mountain Rise Cemetery at the handover by the contractors on August?16, 2013. With him is the contractor James Fairbrass, MD of SA Incinerator Company. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Grieving families had to delay the final rites for their loved ones after a burner in the one working cremator at Mountain Rise Cemetery broke down this week.

The cremator, now only running on one burner, resulted in bodies taking more than three hours to cremate.

Ivan Pillay, whose mother was cremated on Wednesday, said he could not fetch her ashes at 2.30 pm as initially told to do and that delayed the last rites ritual for his family.

“I arrived to fetch the ashes at 2.30 pm but we were told that the ashes were not ready and we could only fetch them the next day. We had to rearrange our entire plans for my mother’s last rites because of this,” said Pillay.

He had arranged for his mother’s ashes to be disposed of in the Clare Estate Ghat at 7.30 pm that same evening, but could not do so.

“We were forced to rearrange everything which was a real inconvenience for us during our tough time. Friends and family who have travelled from far and wide had to also make alternate arrangements as they wanted to be a part of the last rites for my mother,” said Pillay.

Another Pietermaritzburg family said they were very upset as they were also told to fetch their loved one’s ashes the next day.

“This is a really big problem and this issue needs to be sorted out. Families should not be forced to go through what we went through,” said the family member, who asked not to be named.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda confirmed that the burner did break down this week. Madonda said the council was now asking that bookings be made with two-hour intervals between them as a mandatory measure to allow engineers to check the cremator.

“Engineers are currently on site and it should be sorted out soon. Cremations are now taking double the time to be completed and we do understand that it is an inconvenience,” said Madonda.

She added that although the council is in the middle of litigation processes regarding two cremators, its own staff will start repairing the broken cremators next week

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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