Nigel Cemetery closed after Ekurhuleni fails to make provision for new burials
by Cllr. Wollaston Labuschagne — DA Councillor in Ward 88 Ekurhuleni
Date: 21 October 2021
Type: Media statement
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni is concerned over the closure of the Nigel Cemetery due to a lack of space. The facility has been closed for new burials since July 2019, however, graves arranged for second and third interments (burial of relatives in the same grave) are permitted. The Metro provided little notice to the councillors or residents concerned.
The closure of the facility means that Nigel residents have to use Alra Park, Heidelberg or Vlakfontein Cemeteries to bury their loved ones, with no alternative land allocated, nor plans to construct a new cemetery in the pipeline. Not only is the closure highly inconvenient, it also denies residents the dignity and preference to bury their loved ones close to their relatives. In most religions, it is customary to bury family members in the same facility.
As the Ward Councillor, I received a call from a distraught resident whose husband had recently passed away and was unable to bury him at the Nigel Cemetery. The Nigel Customer Care Centre confirmed that only Alra Park, Heidelberg and Vlakfontein cemeteries were available — two facilities that has little meaning to the said resident.
The closure of the cemetery is typical of the uncaring and insensitive ANC-led administration in Ekurhuleni, who, even through the devastating Covid-19 pandemic have closed a number of cemeteries across the Metro, due to financial mismanagement.
Under a Metro led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) adequate provision would be made for a cemetery that services the residents of Nigel. Either through the extension and provision of new land to accommodate additional burials, or through the construction of a new facility in the Nigel proximity.
The DA in Ekurhuleni is the only Party that has pursued the issues of poorly maintained cemeteries and the closure of crematoriums since 2016. We will continue to hold the ANC and their coalition partners* to account in ensuring that residents receive service delivery that is timeous and dignified.
*Coalition Partners: African Independent Congress (AIC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA)
DA Councillor in Ekurhuleni