Mountain Rise: two new cremators

2013-08-16 00:00

AFTER years of interrupted service at the city’s crematorium, two brand new cremators were finally unveiled yesterday.

The new cremators at Mountain Rise Cemetery take just an hour to burn a 200 kg body to ashes. The old cremator had to be warmed up for half an hour before a body was placed inside; the new cremators are ready in just five minutes.

Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Chris Ndlela handed over the state-of-the-art cremators and cremulators (bone crushing machines) yesterday.

Ndlela said the two new cremators have a combined capacity of up to 16 cremations per day and will increase to 24 cremations at the end of October, once the Dowson and Mason cremator, which was commissioned 40 years ago, has been refurbished.

The long-suffering community of Pietermaritzburg had been forced to use Durban and South Coast crematoria to cremate their loved ones because of the dysfunctional crematorium at Mountain Rise.

Council approved more than R7,7 million over a period of three years for use at the crematorium, and of that R5,3 million was used to upgrade the conditions of the crematorium, which included installing two cremators, two cremulator machines, a new gas tank to support cremators, and two steel trays, which will be used to place coffins in the cremator.

Before the steel trays were installed and the opening into the cremator was widened, crematorium workers struggled to put coffins into the cremator by hand, because the opening into the cremator was too narrow.

Ndlela apologised to those families that were affected by the aging cremator, which had been there for 40 years.

“This is an investment we want to introduce to our ratepayers. This is where your millions have been spent,” he said.

Ndlela said they knew that the public were suffering a great deal and that was why they embarked on this project. He remarked that the new cremators come with a five-year guarantee and a maintenance plan.

James Fairbrass, MD of SA Incinerator Company, said the maintenance plan meant that if there was a breakdown in the cremators, they would send their technical team to be there within 24 hours. He said they also installed monitoring functions to ensure that they were able to see how the cremators were being operated, so that the machines continue to function.

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