Tongaat Crematorium standstill

2018-06-21 06:00
The premises of the Tongaat Crematorium.PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE

The premises of the Tongaat Crematorium.PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE

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THERE is an ongoing outcry from members of the public over the termination of services at the Tongaat Crematorium. The furnace of the 43-year old crematorium has not been working since May 23.

Local residents who want to cremate their love ones said they have to travel to Verulam or use other nearby private crematoriums.

A concerned resident from Shakaskraal who refused to be named said: “I came to the crematorium last Sunday and found out that it was not working. We had to borrow the money from other people to transport relatives to Verulam where the body was cremated.

“We were not informed that there was a problem at the crematorium. We are mourning and didn’t want additional stress,” he said.

Other residents complained about burial costs incurred when they discovered that the crematorium was closed.

Superintendent Kevin Appalsamy from the Tongaat Crematorium said the situation at the crematorium is beyond their control.

“It’s a mechanical problem. The machine that we use to cremate has been used since 1973.

“The machine was imported from India back in the day. The company that imported the machine has liquated. We are trying our best to repair the machine,” Appalsamy said.

He said they are currently looking for suppliers complying with the chain management policy to give them a new machine.

“The council has been informed about the situation at the crematorium. We hope, after a week or so, that the crematorium will be up and running again. In the interim we urge the public to use private crematoriums. EThekwini Municipality owns only two crematoriums, one in Mobeni and Tongaat. We are following the procedure to have the machine repaired. We therefore appeal to the community to be patient while we are working on this matter,” Appalsamy said.

Appalsamy said the crematorium was not closed and confirmed that it will be opened to the public soon.

Ward councillor Zanele Khumalo said she was aware of the matter and said council was working on it.


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