Ce­me­te­ry fil­ling up fast

George Herald - - VOORBLAD - A­li­da de Beer

At an a­vera­ge of 200 de­at­hs hand­led in George per month, the three lo­cal ce­me­te­ries will be full in a­bout two y­e­ars’ ti­me.

Ac­cor­ding to Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces Director Wal­ter Hen­dricks, the George Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty is in the pro­cess of i­den­ti­fying suit­a­ble land for a new ce­me­te­ry. The George (York Street), T­hem­ba­let­hu and Touws­ran­ten ce­me­te­ries are cur­rent­ly in use.

“The land spa­ce re­qui­red is a­bout 50 to 79 hec­ta­res. Ba­sed on cur­rent bu­ri­al trends t­his should be a­de­qua­te for a­not­her es­ti­ma­ted

30 to 40 y­e­ars. As suit­a­ble land is li­ke­ly to be out­si­de the cur­rent George urban ed­ge, the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty may be eng­a­ging with E­den Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty in t­his re­gard,” said Hen­dricks.

The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty is in­ves­ti­ga­ting the pos­si­bi­li­ty of fi­nan­ci­al sub­si­dies or in­cen­ti­ves for cre­ma­ti­on inste­ad of bu­ri­als as well as the es­ta­blishment of me­mo­ry ni­che walls, to les­sen the im­pact on ce­me­te­ries. Most bu­ri­als are do­ne in the York Street ce­me­te­ry. Out of the 200 pe­op­le dying monthly, an a­vera­ge of 120 are cre­ma­ted. “T­he­se fi­gu­res in­clu­de de­at­hs from o­ver the Sout­hern Ca­pe as the­re is cur­rent­ly on­ly one cre­ma­to­ri­um in the re­gi­on. The fact t­hat the re­gi­on is a po­pu­lar re­ti­re­ment des­ti­na­ti­on al­so con­tri­bu­tes to de­at­hs in the re­gi­on.”

My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz, chair­man of the Gar­den Rou­te Je­wish As­so­ci­a­ti­on, said t­hey will con­ti­nue to use the ce­me­te­ry sin­ce cre­ma­ti­on is a­gainst Je­wish be­lief.

Ac­cor­ding to three fu­ne­ral bu­si­nes­ses ap­pro­a­ched for comment, cre­ma­ti­on is an op­ti­on cho­sen mos­t­ly by whi­te pe­op­le. It is a­gainst the cu­s­toms of black pe­op­le and pe­op­le of the Isla­mic faith.

Out of the 200 pe­op­le dying monthly, an a­vera­ge of 120 are cre­ma­ted.

Within the co­lou­red com­mu­ni­ties clients would oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly re­quest a cre­ma­ti­on.

El­se­bé Crous, ma­na­ger of

O­li­vier and Ver­meu­len Fu­ne­ral Ser­vi­ces, said t­hey are re­cor­ding a sig­ni­fi­cant in­cre­a­se in the num­ber of cre­ma­ti­ons a­mong t­heir clients. “From Ja­nu­a­ry to Ju­ne t­his y­e­ar, we had an a­vera­ge of 19 cre­ma­ti­ons com­pa­red with 17 bu­ri­als. I think fac­tors such as van­da­lism to gra­ves and poor se­cu­ri­ty at the ce­me­te­ries con­tri­bu­te to t­his t­rend.”

Ma­ny chur­ches ha­ve walls of re­mem­bran­ce w­he­re as­hes can be sto­red. “So­me pe­op­le pre­fer to scat­ter t­heir lo­ved on­es’ as­hes. So­me keep the as­hes at ho­me or e­rect a s­to­ne in a pri­va­te cor­ner of t­heir gar­den.”

U­ni­ty Al­dal­ga­mo­ny, o­w­ner of Pa­calts­dorp Fu­ne­ral Ser­vi­ces, agreed t­hat the t­rend of cre­ma­ti­on is mo­re pre­va­lent a­mong whi­te pe­op­le. “T­his is despi­te the fact t­hat gra­ves are ex­pen­si­ve and pe­op­le feel in­cre­a­singly unsa­fe w­hen vi­si­ting t­heir lo­ved on­es’ last res­ting pla­ce be­cau­se of poor se­cu­ri­ty. W­hen it rains, the George ce­me­te­ry is al­so mud­dy and mes­sy.”

Gert Nie­haus, coun­cil­lor and A­vbob o­w­ner, said pro­vi­ding se­cu­ri­ty is pro­ving to be chal­len­ging as fen­ces do not keep vil­lains out. Un­der­ta­kers ha­ve re­cent­ly had a meet­ing with the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty w­he­re mat­ters such as a per­ma­nent ca­re­ta­ker for the York Street ce­me­te­ry as well as beau­ti­fying of the en­tran­ce we­re dis­cus­sed.

Pho­to: A­li­da de Beer

Mo­re land will be nee­ded for ce­me­te­ries in the ne­ar fu­tu­re, as the cur­rent si­te is get­ting full.

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