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Local Government announces 5.9% increase in burial tariffs

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

The City of Cape Town has announced an increase in burial tariffs for graves in its cemeteries, effective from next month. Speaking to VOC Breakfast on Tuesday, the City of Cape Town’s Head of Cemetery Management, Susan Brice, detailed the upcoming changes.

“All tariffs in the City adjust on the first of July at the beginning of our financial year,” Brice explained.

“We have different types of tariffs for various graves in our cemeteries, including private graves, berm graves, and public graves. These options are available at different price levels. We also accommodate ash burials and niches in our cemeteries. Starting from July 1, all tariffs will increase by a marginal 5.9%, applying uniformly across all cemeteries, regardless of their location.”

Brice emphasized that these increases are inflationary, with the 5.9% rise being the standard for this year. “We have been investigating potential sites for new cemeteries and extensions of existing ones. All sites undergo a thorough evaluation, and consultants have been appointed to conduct basic assessments of several promising locations.”

Regarding the City’s burial hours, Brice stated, “We accommodate all religious groups in our cemeteries, making specific exceptions for the Muslim community, who need to bury their deceased as soon as possible after death.”

“We have a working relationship with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), and through them, we have coordinators in each area. The Muslim burial society engages with our staff, and we open after hours for specific burials as required. We particularly accommodate the Muslim community in our Grassy Park cemetery.”

Brice also clarified that the exceptions made for the Muslim community do not come with additional costs.
“The rate is the same as a weekday burial rate, inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. We deem it necessary because the community needs to bury on public holidays and does not have the luxury of choosing the burial time as other religions do. We maintain consistent rates whether the burial occurs during working hours, until 4 p.m., or slightly after, up until 6 p.m. We accommodate Muslim burials any day of the week.”

The president of the MJC and chairperson of its burial administration, Sheikh Riad Fataar, confirmed they have received notice of the new tariffs from the City, noting the annual increase.

“We now have a berm grave that has increased to R1,340. These increases happen every year, and we want to encourage the community to use the berm grave. While the MJC plays an active role with the City in making sure that the Muslim community is covered as far as municipal cemeteries are concerned, there is also absolutely no monetary or financial benefit to the Muslim Judicial Council or anybody connected in terms of the burial side,” said Fataar.

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