Burial space at the Vygekraal Cemetery in Johnstone Road in Athlone is fast running out and new measures are being put in place to deal with the load.
On Friday, the Vygekraal Cemetery Board announced that no new graves will be dug at the cemetery.
Instead, the janaazah’s of adults will be accommodated only if there is a family grave of 15 years or older that can be reopened.
However, no burial place can be reopened if there is one or more fresh graves next to it or close by as the walls could collapse.
Chairperson of Western Cape Undertaker’s Forum Ebrahim Soloman explained that the cemetery has no option but to implement the changes because it is “filled to capacity.”
Soloman said that the decision was long overdue and encouraged the community to bury their loved ones at municipal cemeteries.
“Unfortunately people still feel they want to be buried at the kaberstan because their loved ones are buried there, but there’s nothing we can do if there is no space. There are various municipal burial grounds that are quite affordable, its much cheaper than private cemeteries,” said Soloman.
He added that enquiries have been made for more land.
“They have purchased land next door on the soccer field. But unfortunately for the past few years they have not been burying there because they need to do environmental studies on the ground.”
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VOC / Tauhierah Salie