Since the Mobeni Heights Crematorium reopened in February 2021, the facility has had shortages of gas. I Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)
Since the Mobeni Heights Crematorium reopened in February 2021, the facility has had shortages of gas. I Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

More problems plague Mobeni Heights Crematorium

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published May 12, 2021

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DURBAN - MOBENI Heights Crematorium was reopened three months ago but the incident-plagued facility continuously battles for gas.

Funeral parlours and the community bear the brunt of the problem.

The crematorium was reopened at the start of February, but the new cremator apparently experienced problems midway into the first cremation.

A prayer was then held at the facility led by Hindu priest Sri Srinivasan Moodley to rid the crematorium of its “bad omen” and appease its “spiritual guardian and caretaker”, as per the Hindu belief system.

It had been a roller-coaster ever since, said funeral parlours.

Dhayalan Moodley, a representative of the KZN Funeral Directors’ Association, said each time there was an issue at the crematorium, they were told it was the gas.

“It’s so frustrating. What can we do? Where can we turn?” he asked.

Moodley said they catered mainly for the poor in Chatsworth, and whenever they were faced with issues at the crematorium, they had to go to Clare Estate or Verulam Crematorium.

He felt the crematorium needed to be put out for tender and given to someone on a subsidised basis.

Mobeni Heights Crematorium Action Committee chairperson Visvin Reddy said the crematorium had continuous operational problems had and resulted in many more millions of ratepayers’ money being wasted.

He described the situation as an “untold misery” in the community after the eThekwini Municipality issued statements and “gave false assurances”.

“Current leadership cannot manage this crematorium. They should say, let’s get the community involved in order to manage and run crematorium.”

Reddy said he believed the community would do a far better job and called on the municipality to engage with them on the crematorium.

He said they would be putting together a proposal for Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda for there to be a partnership between them and the community regarding the crematorium.

Ntokozo Sibiya, chairperson of the city's portfolio committee for Community and Emergency Services, said recent developments revealed that gas was ordered and it was expected to arrive before the end of business on Wednesday.

Sibiya said they had been able to keep the crematorium in operation to date since the meeting with the mayor.

“We have been able to secure a three-month contract this week.”

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