Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said it would be increasing allotments for burial capacity at its cemeteries for Muslim burials.
In a statement released on Thursday, mayoral committee member for community services and health, councillor Zahid Badroodien, said the City was working closely with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC).
Badroodien said the city cemeteries are currently accommodating 150 Muslim burials a month.
Cemeteries with Muslim allotments include Muizenberg, Dido Valley, Ocean View, Klip Road, Maitland, Atlantis, Delft, Wallacedene, Welmoed, Khayelitsha, and Kleinvlei.
“The City respects all residents’ religious rights, and therefore, works actively with the MJC to ensure Islamic burial rights, particularly in terms of a Muslim’s right to be buried on the same day of death.
“Covid-19 has increased the number of janazas (funerals) per month, which has caused space to fill quickly and has led to the City opening up more space for our Maitland cemetery,” Badroodien said.
He said Klip Road Cemetery had been the preferred burial ground for Muslims. However, its allotment at the cemetery has been exhausted.
There is sufficient capacity at other cemeteries, and the City has now created a new Muslim burial block at the Maitland cemetery which will be able to accommodate 837 graves. This is in addition to burial blocks created for all religious burials in 2020 as part of its response to the pandemic.
“The City is working with the MJC to ensure that burials happen timeously, with dignity and in line with the City's operations.
“To this end, we appeal to the Muslim community to please try and bury during working hours where possible and before sunset, in the interest of funeral-goers’ safety, but also City staff,” Badroodien said.
He said the MJC had appointed area co-ordinators to facilitate burial documentation after hours when offices at the cemetery are closed.
Payments for graves before burial is mandatory for everyone, Badroodien said.
The City does not charge after-hours tariffs. However, it does make special arrangements for Muslim burials to be facilitated until sunset,” he added.
Members of the public can make enquiries to cemeteries between 7.30am until 4pm from Monday to Friday via email at [email protected]
African News Agency (ANA)