Is farm fit for burials?

2016-05-31 10:59
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Pietermaritzburg - Is the Lamonts Vale farm proposed as a new cemetery for Msunduzi fit for burials?.

The farm came under discussion at the city’s executive committee meeting again last week, when DA councillor Judith Lawrence asked for clarity on the purchase of the land.

The question of whether the city would purchase the entire Richmond Road farm, or just a portion of 75 hectares, was raised again, with some councillors saying they had still not received a proper answer.

Economic Development deputy municipal manager Dr Ray Ngcobo clarified that the city would purchase only a portion of the land, which locals have reported is not suitable for burials.

They said they were made aware of a geotechnical investigation that revealed only about 32 hectares of the property was suitable for burials.

One of the property owners, who did not want to be named, referred to a map of the area, which shows a large portion of the land as wetland and a bulk water pipeline running through the property that makes it unsuitable.

“Furthermore, the proposed land is situated next to the Bisley Nature Reserve and most of the land cannot be accessed because of this,” said the property owner and developer.

He said burials cannot take place and infrastructure cannot be built within 450 metres of a wetland and 250 metres of a bulk water pipeline — “which further reduces the space that can be used for burials”.

Given the lack of space and ­overcrowding at Mountain Rise ­cemetery, the municipality has looked to buy land at Lamonts Vale farm on the Richmond Road for a new facility.

Lawrence asked how many burials could take place on the 75-hectare plot, but Ngcobo said he did not have the figures at hand.

Further confusion reigned when Ngcobo said although he did not have the figures, he knew that the portion of land to be bought would service the city for 103 years.

“I am quoting a previous report when we were told that the whole farm has an 89-year lifespan and I am surprised now that Dr Ngcobo is saying the 75 hectares will have a longer lifespan. Who knows what is going on here?” asked Lawrence.

Ngcobo replied that the matter had been put to rest and “all such information” was provided in detail previously.

“This is creating confusion in the market about the manner in which this matter is being dealt with. I do not have the answers,” he said.

Mayor Chris Ndlela ended the discussion, saying the confusion needed to be clarified outside the meeting between the councillors and Ngcobo.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality  |  burial  |  farm

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