The cemetery has come under the scrutiny of residents living nearby who claimed it was derelict. They called for several interventions from the eThekwini Municipality’s Parks and Recreation Department to be put in place to discourage vagrants and prevent them from gaining entry to the cemetery. They also wanted an old building at the entrance to be sealed or demolished.
Resident Nicola Balcomb said they were grateful for the cemetery’s clean-up, but the issue of security was a concern.
“It does not appear as if anything has been done about security. The gate is still wide open. The palisades are still pushed over. Vagrants are still wandering in and out and using the lot as their home and toilet,” Balcomb said.”
Nic Holden, another resident, felt the city should place a security guard on the premises.
“There is no new barbed wire. The old, flattened, dysfunctional wire remains. The amount of litter and fireplaces in the graveyard is a testament to vagrants living there.”
Director of Local History Museums Sinothi Thabethe said the building at the entrance could not be demolished because of its heritage status. Thabethe said they were looking at several options such as closing off the front entrance and making another entrance in Hime Street.
“The door of the Topham mausoleum has been closed up with concrete blocks. This will deal with the problem of the structure being used as a shelter. A substantial portion of the roof is damaged. A door and windows have been blocked up,” he said.