Pietermaritzburg - Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi ordered a full investigation into malfunctioning cremators on Thursday.
This was after it emerged at a council meeting this week that four calves had been used to test their functionality.
Pietermaritzburg's angry Hindu community called for a boycott of the crematorium. Cows are sacred in the Hindu religion.
Briefing executive committee members on Thursday, Nkosi assured senior councillors that the matter would receive the attention it needed.
“We are conducting an investigation regarding the incident, but furthermore we are looking at why the crematorium is malfunctioning less than six months after it was purchased,” he said.
Nkosi apologised to the Hindu community.
Exco member Manillal Inderjith called for tough action against the officials manning the crematorium.
“Officials who conducted the test should face the consequences for their action. As a practising Hindu I am offended by this and so is a large section of the community,” said Inderjith.
Msunduzi Crematorium and Cemeteries Concerned Citizens' Committee member Ranjiv Nirgin welcomed the planned investigation.
“We would like for the matter to be dealt with speedily, before pronouncing on the kind of action that should be taken against the fingered official,” he said.
The cremators were installed less than six months ago at a cost of R7.7 million and were said to have the capacity to carry out 16
cremations a day.
At the time of their unveiling. SA Incinerator managing director James Fairbrass told councillors the new cremators came with a five-year guarantee and maintenance plan.
Exco members have now insisted that the service provider should honour its end of the bargain.
Nkosi said a report on the cremators would be tabled early next year.