Prayer to rid Mobeni Heights Crematorium of ’bad omen’ after it breaks down midway into the first cremation
Durban - The Mobeni Heights Crematorium was not working again on Tuesday morning shortly after reopening after some years.
The new cremator apparently experienced problems midway into the first cremation.
A prayer was held yesterday 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.
“Today, we sought permission from this spirit to open the crematorium and the priest performed the necessary rituals. This is the only way this crematorium will get to operate again,” said Visvin Reddy, a representative of the Chatsworth and District Civic Federation, as well as African Democratic Change leader.
Also present at the prayer were Reverend Cyril Pillay, Pinetown Funeral Services director and chairperson of the KZN Funeral Directors Association Clive Moodley and Isipingo Funeral Services director and a representative of the KZN Funeral Directors Association Dhayalan Moodley.
The two regulators at the crematorium apparently blew up - one controlled the gas tank while the other controlled the sides of the furnace.
Ntokozo Sibiya, chairperson of the Community Services Committee, said midway through the first cremation, the cremator experienced a gas pressure warning.
She explained that the operating pressure for the vapour side (valve chamber within the cremator room) was meant to be constant between 100KPA and 120 KPA, after which it was further reduced via a regulator to 2KPA.
“The regulators are not holding pressure, causing the pressure to creep past the 100-120KPA set point all the way to 250KPA which is causing the inside regulator in the building to get damaged and associated valves to break,” she said.
For years the facility has been dysfunctional at one point only operating with one furnace.
In February last year, a new cremator arrived from the US and had cost the city R3.5 million, however by September it had not been installed.
Last week, the City said refurbishment of the facility was completed last year with air emissions testing done in November and an application for an Air Emissions Licence from the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs was done in December.
In a communication to residents after the machine failed to continue working, ward councillor Tony Govender said the municipal Parks and Recreation unit had confirmed that two regulators had blown up adding that the eThekwini Municipality had committed to having these regulators fitted by yesterday morning.
The municipal unit was apparently on site yesterday and had set the required scope for the work to be undertaken today, Wednesday.
According to Maggie Govender, ANC MPL from Chatsworth, the crematorium was loaned a working regulator, which was installed and running so that the second cremation could continue.
“I have yet to receive the pricing of this item. And will include it with the aforementioned costs as one emergency repair request. Under R30 000 can be handled in-house,” said Govender.
The municipality had not responded at the time of publication.