Durban to debate the recycling of graves

2010-11-19 07:23

Academics, cultural experts and religious leaders will gather at the Durban City Hall this afternoon to discuss the controversial proposal to recycle graves.

The eThekwini Municipality recently announced that it would soon start recycling old graves because of a shortage of burial sites.

Remains would be exhumed and reburied in a mass grave.

About 20 000 bodies are buried each year in eThekwini and the city has space only for two and a half years.

It was recently reported that 59 of the 60 cemeteries in Durban were full.

In 2001, experts warned that burial space would run out in Durban by 2010 and suggested recycling graves or burying people standing up.

The municipality this week said it had decided not to establish new cemeteries, but introduce alternative burial methods.

The city fathers said vertical burials, cremation, freeze drying and the recycling of graves were some of the proposed new methods.

The new proposed methods have been fiercely criticised by the public.

They argue that it will have an adverse impact on their cultural and religious practices.

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