Calls for embattled Durban crematorium to be privatised

23 February 2021 - 12:38
Prayers were conducted at Durban's Mobeni Heights Crematorium recently to ensure 'angry spirits' were appeased. Now there are calls for the facility to be privatised.
Prayers were conducted at Durban's Mobeni Heights Crematorium recently to ensure 'angry spirits' were appeased. Now there are calls for the facility to be privatised.
Image: Supplied

Calls are being made for the eThekwini municipality to privatise the embattled Mobeni Heights Crematorium, which the city has dismissed as the work of “greedy individuals”.

This comes amid claims that the crematorium, which resumed operations earlier this month after years after battling with malfunctioning furnaces, has malfunctioned again.

Two weeks ago, two cremations were cancelled at the last minute when a furnace packed up.

The crematorium had not been fully operational for years and this caused outrage among the community.

A local undertaker told TimesLIVE on Tuesday that cremations had again been put on hold because there was insufficient gas for the incinerators.

Calls to the crematorium went unanswered.

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela dismissed the claim that the crematorium was not functioning as “lies”.

“I seriously do not understand what joy are people deriving from this disinformation. We are also aware that there are greedy individuals who desperately want this facility to be privatised,” he said.

Visvin Reddy of the African Democratic Change party said a call is being made to the city to privatise the facility.

“Once again we see the inefficiency of the municipality in managing a necessary facility which is so needed in the community, especially in the times of Covid,” he said.

“We are appealing to the city to consider privatising this crematorium.

“However, we wish to stipulate that a few conditions need to be met. This includes that the crematorium needs to be available and needs to be priced so that the poor will be able to afford [its services].”

Reddy said a management committee from the community of Chatsworth, where the crematorium is located, also needs to be appointed if the facility is privatised.

TimesLIVE


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