The City of Cape Town has officially opened a new Muslim burial section at Maitland Cemetery.
More than 600 burial plots have been assigned for use. This is in addition to the 800 burial plots that were made available earlier this year.
At a ceremony on Monday, 20 September 2021, the site was assessed for the size of the grave plots and the orientation of each grave in the direction of the Qibla.
Technical teams have also checked that the underground water table is at a level suitable for burials following winter rains.
An opening and closing du’ā (prayer) blessed the sacred space in preparation for new burials.
“This marks a significant milestone in the relationship between the City and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), in working together to ensure that the growing need for burial space is addressed. We have experienced a massive increase in demand for burials in the last year and a half, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the City is doing everything possible to assist communities and religious groupings in ensuring that we are able to accommodate their needs.”
“Work is under way to identify suitable land for new cemeteries and additional space in existing cemeteries, because while we do encourage alternative burial methods and cremation, the City is mindful that traditional burial remains the preferred option for many, for religious and cultural reasons,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
The City does not accommodate burials after working hours in general; however special arrangements are made for Muslim burials to be facilitated until sunset, at no extra charge, due to the religious requirement to bury the same day or as soon as possible thereafter.
“The additional burial capacity made available at Maitland Cemetery will go a long way, but we want to remind the community to also make use of burial space available at other City cemeteries, notably Welmoed, Klip and Atlantis, where possible,” said Second Deputy President of the MJC, Shaykh Riad Fataar.