Crematorium operators get a roasting

2011-12-30 00:00

THE city’s crematorium woes continue.

Yesterday undertakers were furious when contacted by phone by the Msunduzi Municipality and told there would be no cremations at the weekend or on Monday and Tuesday.

Undertakers are questioning how the municipality can close an essential service without consultation and at such short notice, showing no respect for the dead and their grieving families.

Apparently the closure is because there are no cremator operators. This follows Wednesday’s debacle, when three bodies were left waiting to be cremated because there were no cremator operators and the cemetery manager was nowhere in sight. The municipality employs two operators; one had gone on leave and the other had booked off sick.

The acting manager for community services had to bring in a retired operator to assist in the emergency and undertakers had to arrange for two of the cremations to take place in Durban.

The undertakers complained to the chairperson of the community services portfolio committee, councillor Manilall Inderjit. He told The Witness that he had arranged for one of the operators to come in on Monday.

Inderjit added that the problem was due to a shortage of staff and that provision had been made in the budget for filling two critical vacant posts for cremator operators.

This would take the pressure off the existing staff who have had a gruelling schedule.

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