eThekwini is looking into purchasing new land to try and address the shortage of burial space in the city.
The shortage of burial spaces in cities globally has come under the spotlight at the 2nd Pan African Cemeteries and Crematoria Conference taking place in Durban.
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The municipality’s Head of Parks and Culture Unit, Thembinkosi Ngcobo says although it is not sustainable to buy new land, cultural and religious beliefs require them to do so.
He says they will also be educating communities about alternative burial methods.
“We are looking very closely into the experiences and practices of other cities — for instance we could establish mausoleums,” said Ngcobo.
A mausoleum is a type of grave site that can be used by more than one person.
“We would establish a grave site that would be shared by families that could be used by different generations. In this instance, we dig much deeper so that you do not have to wait for the 10-year cycle that is currently prescribed under South African law.”
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Ngcobo says they are also looking into the possibility of utilising the city’s coastline as a burial option.
“We could also consider deep sea burials, which are utilised in some other countries.”