The Kuils River cemetery in Cape Town was vandalised. Photo: City of Cape Town
The Kuils River cemetery in Cape Town was vandalised. Photo: City of Cape Town

Cemetery vandalism, theft and dumping a concern for City of Cape Town

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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Cape Town - The City said it was concerned about an increase in reports of vandalism and illegal occupations at its cemeteries.

In a statement released late on Wednesday, mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said the CIty was looking for a sustainable solution.

He said the Klip Road, Khayelitsha, Kuils River and Durbanville cemeteries had been hardest hit not only by vandalism and illegal occupation by homeless people, but also by illegal dumping.

The city council was also aware of private cemeteries experiencing challenges as well, Badroodien added.

“Cemeteries are vast portions of land and it is impossible to secure each grave, especially in recent months when the demand for burials was at its peak and drew heavy foot traffic daily through the cemeteries,” he said.

“City cemeteries are also classified as public open spaces and are therefore required to remain accessible to all.”

The city provides full perimeter fencing at cemeteries and where necessary security personnel, especially at night, but Badroodien said the high cost of hiring private security made it unsustainable as a long-term solution.

“We appeal to communities to report incidents of vandalism as soon as possible, so that corrective action can be taken. A small act of vandalism left unattended soon becomes a far bigger problem,” he said.

“We are also aware of an apparent increase in street people living or sleeping in, or adjacent to cemeteries. Due to the current Disaster Management regulations in place (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) it is very difficult to address this particular issue.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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