Although a little late, neglected cemetery receives sprucing up

2013-12-24 00:00

FOR the first time in two years, relatives of those buried in Mountain Rise Cemetery will finally be able to visit loved ones’ graves without wading through overgrown grass and weeds.

The Msunduzi Municipality has made maintenance at the cemetery a priority over the past year. Reports from the community services portfolio committee revealed that more grass-cutters were employed, pesticides have been sprayed and a cemetery maintenance roster has been put in place.

Neglect of the cemetery was as a result of the municipality going under administration with no funds for grass-cutting. The cemetery became a haven for vagrants and there were several reports of people being mugged, with tombstones either being vandalised or stolen.

But Stefanie Addicott, who visits the grave of her father-in-law, said she was “disgusted” that the sprucing up of the cemetery was only being done so close to Christmas. Addicott was mugged at the cemetery earlier this year and struggled to escape through the waist-high grass. She said she would keep complaining until the cemetery was consistently maintained.

“I want a personal apology to everybody who visits this cemetery,” she said.

Nkanyiso Gumede and his family, who were at the cemetery yesterday to visit the graves of loved ones, were complimentary. He said compared to his previous visits there was a vast improvement in the upkeep of the cemetery.

“I really want it to be preserved because this is our history,” he said.

The grass-cutters told The Witness that they were taking advantage of the cloudy but dry conditions yesterday to cut the grass, which had grown very quickly because of the recent rains.

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