Cemetery not full yet

2018-06-19 06:01
Photo: Stock Image

Photo: Stock Image

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Concerns have been raised regarding Klip Cemetery reaching full capacity.

Neil Jacobus, chairperson of the Carola Neighbourhood Watch, which borders and patrols the northern side of the cemetery, says that there is “a serious concern for burial space at the new Klip Cemetery extension”.

“People are coming from other areas to bury their loved ones at Klip Cemetery. When will Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein have their own cemetery?” says Jacobus.

The City’s Recreation and Parks Department is currently conducting a detailed analysis of cemeteries across the city to establish the present status.

“As a result of this process, we will identify land which can be used for cemeteries in the future in order to address challenges of space limitations in existing cemeteries,” says Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith.

The City is yet to reach the feasibility stage for potential land parcels, but that information will be made available to the public through the City’s public participation processes, which include public consultation on a draft strategic cemetery framework, which Smith says is intended to outline the capabilities of existing cemeteries and address key challenges.

“Additional land will be identified to ensure that there are alternative cemeteries for burials. The public participation process ensures that the concerns of residents are taken into account prior to final decisions being made about the location and proximity of alternative land.”

Jacobus says the cemetery is “filling up very fast”.

“In the next five to 10 years, will there be a cemetery nearby for the surrounding areas?” he asks.

Smith says Klip Cemetery has between three and five years of burial space left and the City is proactively finding solutions for more space-efficient burial, while also ensuring that respect for cultural and religious diversity is upheld as a top priority.Private graves

“There is an available option for private family graves to be used again for a second interment, subject to ensuring that there is sufficient depth in the grave. This would allow for a grave to accommodate two deceased members of the same family, by burying a second coffin on top of another,” Smith explains.

Currently, three out of 10 graves being used are reopened by families to ensure that husband and wife are buried together.

Smith points out that another alternative is for family graves to be used to bury the cremated remains (i.e. ash boxes) of multiple deceased members of the same family.

"More and more pressure is being placed on existing cemetery space due to the ratio of burial versus cremation being 60:40. The City has adequate space for future demand; however, this space will not necessarily be available in our local cemeteries, but rather further afield like Atlantis.

The City is committed to ensuring that burial space remains affordable to all people. As a result, the City has made great strides in making more space-efficient burial and interment options available while upholding the respect for cultural and religious diversity as a priority," Smith says.

To add to the challenges, the City says there remains a 70% preference for burials on a Saturday, resulting in high volumes of traffic and overcrowding of the few cemeteries with remaining capacity.

Weekday burial options are therefore recommended and, as from 1 July 2018, will be cheaper than Saturdays (at one and a quarter times the cost) and Saturdays (at one and a quarter times the cost) and Sundays and public holidays (at one and a half times the cost).

As weekdays are not subject to maximum numbers, there is easier access to parking and quieter, more dignified environment.

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