Crematorium solution now!

2011-03-18 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality has to come up with a long term solution to ensure that the Mountain Rise Crematorium does not collapse and force its users to conduct cremations in Durban.

During the executive committee (Exco) meeting yesterday, mayor, Mike Tarr said that the municipality has to decide on whether to refurbish cremator no.1 which has not been operating for more than a year now or replace it altogether.

Refurbishing the cremator will cost R1,3 million while R2,5 million would be needed to replace it.

Acting community services executive manager, Kwenza Khumalo, said that the municipality has two cremators and one incinerator. He said cremator no.2 is the main cremator which has been in full operation until recently and cremator no.1 has been out of action for over a year and the incinerator is used for back up purposes.

“The urgent need to refurbish cremator no.1 has been highlighted by the recent difficulties experienced at the crematorium when cremator no.2 was non-functional and cremations had to be diverted to Durban with the resultant inconvenience to the community and loss of revenue generation for the municipality,” said Khumalo.

He said the only working cremator is under pressure and overuse to a point that the floor under cremator no.2 has started to crack.

Exco member, Najma Ahmed (ANC) said that the issue of problematic cremators is affecting the community in the northern areas and the municipality needs to prioritise the crematorium.

Undertakers in the city have long expressed frustration with the inept manner in which the municipality runs the local crematorium. They say that there are in fact three cremators at Mountain Rise. Cremator One is in the chapel in what used to be the old “White Cemetery” and this has not been working for years. There have been allegations that parts from cremator number one have been used to fix cremator number two, which is the old Hindu Crematorium. Cremator number three was installed a few years back also at a cost of over R1 million and has never worked properly ever since, and is non-functioning at the moment. Undertakers said at the time that this was the wrong make and was more an incinerator than a cremator. They expressed ongoing frustration that when it comes to the cremators the municipality seems to be continuously throwing good money at bad decisions.



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