Pretoria cemeteries ‘neglected’

Zandfontein Cemetery. Photo: Supplied

The state of Pretoria cemeteries has been a cause for concern in the last few years.

At the Zandfontein cemetery, west of Pretoria, grass is overgrown, litter and vandalism are rife due to a lack of security, and the same obtains at the Rebecca Street and the old military cemeteries in Centurion.

To date, these cemeteries are yet to receive attention and Akasia Cemetery north of Pretoria was said to be attracting criminal activity due to a lack of lighting.

The cemetery also had unkept grass but was clean.

Tshwane metro region 6 urban management deputy director, Lorraine Maudi said the poor maintenance of cemeteries was a result of the termination of contracts with service providers due to poor workmanship.

“The appointed Tshepo 10 000 co-operatives were terminated due to poor workmanship.

Cemeteries are maintained on an ad hoc basis until the metro appoints [a new] service provider,” she said.

DA-ward councillor, Frik van Wyk said many of the graves at the Zandfontein Cemetery collapsed during the rainy season.

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“Usually, if this happens, we leave it at first so that the graves have completely fallen in,” he says.

“If we were to fill it before the grave had fallen completely, the grave would only fall further and would look exactly the same again in a while.”

He again blamed the rain for the long grass.

He also expressed his concern about the poor workmanship by contractors.

“It remains an ongoing problem and I do not think it will be resolved soon,” he said.

He added that the cemetery was generally not in a bad condition.

But resident and member of the SA Civil Organisation (Sanco), Ricardo Daubern said the cemetery west of Pretoria was in a shocking state.

“It’s a shame it looks like this – how should people come to their loved ones?”

He said this had not been the first time the cemetery deteriorated to this state.

“There have been too many complaints in the past,” he said.

One such complaint was byLydia Mouton of Mayville.

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Last year Mouton said in November 2016 a tree had fallen on her husband’s grave and she had to clean the grave herself on a regular basis.

“Evildoers even robbed the capital letters of my husband’s tombstone,” she said.

“It makes me terribly sad to visit his grave under such circumstances. The grave right next to my husband’s has already fallen.”

Mouton’s husband died in 1983.

Recently Mouton told Rekord problem had since been resolved “but the cemetery remains in a poor state”.

A Facebook group has even launched a community page ‘Save our Tshwane cemetries‘ to embarrass the metro into action.

Zandfontein Cemetery. Photo: Supplied

Zandfontein Cemetery. Photo: Supplied

Zandfontein Cemetery. Photo: Supplied

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
Kayla van Petegem and Noxolo Sibiya

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