Cremations resume at Durban municipal crematorium after years of malfunctioning furnaces

08 February 2021 - 17:14
The eThekwini municipality announced on Monday that its Mobeni Heights crematorium is now functioning again. Stock photo.
The eThekwini municipality announced on Monday that its Mobeni Heights crematorium is now functioning again. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF.COM/ DOLGACHOV

Durban's Mobeni Heights crematorium started operating on Monday after years of battling dysfunctional furnaces which left the community outraged.

On Monday, eThekwini municipality announced that three bodies had been cremated at it's facility in Chatsworth, south of Durban.

“The state-of-the-art furnace was imported from a manufacturer in the US last year and underwent several tests to ensure effectiveness and compliance with protocols governing operation of these establishments,” said municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.

 “The new facility is fully digital and as a result can be monitored electronically by its manufacturers abroad with ease. This technology is going to go a long way in assisting the manufacturers to pick up any technical threats to its functional ability and act accordingly.

“Chairperson of the Community Services Committee, councillor Ntokozo Sibiya, conducted an inspection to satisfy herself that the facility is ready. She extended her gratitude to all residents who bore the brunt of its malfunctioning.”

Mayisela said the municipality was “hard at work to get the other furnace to start operations with speed”.

“Meanwhile, work to replace the old furnace at the Tongaat crematorium is at an advanced stage.”

Community activity Visvin Reddy welcomed the news.

“It's been many years of resistance and protests by members of the community before the city has finally restored the furnaces in Mobeni Heights.

“Over the years family members of those who passed on had to endure added pain due to these furnaces not working. They had to travel great distances and at exorbitant costs just to cremate their loved ones.

“It was painful to hear of the heartache that families had to endure, and we did everything in our power as community activists to raise this matter. Unfortunately it fell on deaf ears until now,” said Reddy.

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