Municipal workers clean up cemeteries

GRAVEYARD UPKEEP: Mdantsane cemetery. Picture: SUPPLIED

Maintenance of municipal sites across the city is a concern, particularly with respect to cemeteries.

However, this could change, as municipal workers were seen cleaning Mdantsane cemetery in NU 1 on April 11, after it had been neglected for years.

Ward councillor Andile Phethani said, “There is a team that started cleaning up the area last week and is still there now.

“The cemetery was neglected for a long time because the municipal teams do not have access to equipment.

“In the ward,  this is an issue that we have managed to handle by hiring an external company, with their own equipment, who are cleaning up the area.”

When a family, who prefers to remain anonymous, went to the Mdantsane NU 1 cemetery to find the grave of their late mother, they were shocked to find the grounds in disarray.

According to them, the grass was overgrown to the extent that trees were growing out of burial sites. “What we saw there broke my heart. We couldn’t even see the names on the tombstones.

“The bushes around the graveyard were so high and it didn’t feel safe. We had to leave our valuables in the car because we didn’t know what to expect.

“After searching for a long time, we eventually gave up because we couldn’t find our mother’s grave. We then went to the Haven Hills graveyard to look for our father’s grave.

“As we entered the graveyard, we could already see a huge difference. The graves were visible and easy to find.

“The grass was also long, but you could see that it was just a few weeks’ worths of growth.

“I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything, but it just feels like the graveyards that are in suburban areas are taken care of better than those in the township areas. That is not fair because all graves deserve respect and dignity,” said the concerned resident.

Earlier this year, Komani newspaper The Rep reported on the neglect of the Komani cemetery that led locals to the streets in protest.

The municipality then vowed increased security and police patrol in the area and regular grass-cutting including systems to divert flooding and rubble from the gravesites.


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