Fund for cremator project to be used for sports facility

2015-10-05 11:45

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Pietermaritzburg - Money meant for the Mountain Rise cremator project will now be used for a sports facility in Caluza. This emerged at a full council meeting last week.

More than 10 councillors voted against the redirecting of funds saying the Mountain Rise Crematorium is in dire need of the funds and cannot afford to have the money transferred to another project.

However, municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi explained that the transfer of monies will not mean the collapse of the cremator project. Nkosi said the money comes from the capital budget and municipal infrastructure grant and if it is not used, will be returned to Treasury anyway.

Nkosi said there is a budget available for repairs which will be used to fix the cremators at Mountain Rise, but the grant cannot be used for this.

“The transfer is only temporary as the two cremators are the subject of litigation at the moment. We will definitely not kill this project, but the litigation processes do limit us. Even if we do not redirect the funding, this money cannot be used at the cemetery and will be returned,” said Nkosi.

A report was brought to full council last week recommending that over R1,6 million of the municipal infrastructure grant be allocated from the cremator project to the Jika Joe roads and the Caluza sports facility.

“This should be a fast moving project as it has been going on for quite some time and we [DA] cannot support that any funds be taken from this crematorium,” said DA councillor Rodger Ashe.

DA councillor Rooksana Ahmed echoed the sentiments saying the money should not be transferred and rather be used to repair the cremators that are not functioning. Ahmed added that should it not be possible, the money should be directed to the Hollingwood cemetery.

“The Hollingwood cemetery has been on the cards for a very long time and it should also be prioritised. Should we not sort this issue out first before transferring the money elsewhere?” questioned Ahmed.

Nkosi added that they have “not lost hope” in Hollingwood cemetery and through public participation it was decided that the land will be shared for burial and low-cost housing for Sobantu residents.

The Hollingwood cemetery project was delayed almost five years ago when residents of Sobantu halted the processes saying low-cost housing was needed in the area more than a cemetery.

The decision to have the funding transferred was brought to a vote in full council and it was agreed to transfer the money

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