By-Laws on Cemeteries and Crematoriums, know it whilst still alive

Since the cemetery is a shared space for all communities, the city has a responsibility to ensure that the community using the cemetery space have due regard to fellow users. To this end, the city’s Cemetery and Crematorium By-laws outline the limitations and parameters set to promote peaceful, communal use of these important facilities.

 

In terms of the By-laws, gardening and general care of cemeteries are the responsibility of the city. Accordingly, any upkeep of graves should not include planting, erection, placing or leaving upon a grave any object or decoration. The only exception is within the first 30 days after interment when wreaths are traditionally laid as a symbol of remembrance. No person, other than the Cemetery Officer is allowed to plant a tree or shrubs in any section of the cemetery.

 

The Cemetery and Crematorium By-laws also regulate the depth, length and width of grave excavations. The material of a coffin is also regulated in that it should be either in natural wood or perishable material. The coffins for cremations must be constructed of mainly timber or wood derivatives.

Those that require, as part of their religious rituals, to take an animal to the cemetery, must seek permission from the cemetery officer before doing so.

 

During funerals, the Cemetery Officer has the discretion to allow or prevent any type of music that, in their judgment, is unseemly or unsuitable for a funeral.

 

Contravention of the Cemetery and Crematorium By-laws, including disregarding the directions of the Cemetery Officer, is an offence, punishable by imprisonment or a fine, or both.

 

The MMC for Environment and Waste Management Cllr Ndosi Shongwe accordingly calls on all residents and entities in Ekurhuleni to abide by the By-laws. “The By-laws must not only be seen as a hindrance to practices that people have grown used to, they serve a societal role of promoting cohesion in communities, and providing solutions to the challenges of a developing community, such as a decreasing burial space. The By-laws make provision for second and third interments for families that would want to bury their dead in one grave,” Cllr Shongwe said.

 

Tombstones and other forms of memorial work cannot be erected on Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday or after hours (Between 16:00 and 07:00).

 

The City shall not be held liable for damage or theft of any memorial work.

 

The comprehensive Cemetery and Crematorium By-Laws can be found on the City of Ekurhuleni web site and can be downloaded for ease of reference.

 

Complaints and queries or suggestions regarding cemeteries or the crematorium must be addressed in writing to the Divisional Head: Parks and Cemeteries or logged at the call centre on 0860-543-000

  AUTHOR
Heidelberg Nigel Heraut

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