Outcry over overgrown vegetation, broken grave stones at Mountain Rise cemetery
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DURBAN - OVERGROWN vegetation, broken crosses and a dire state of disrepair is what greeted an Albert Falls resident when she went to the Mountain Rise Cemetery to pay her respects to her parents last week.
Janine Camp described the horrible ordeal of seeing her parents’ graves in that condition, which she said left her shocked.
“The grass is so long you can't see any of the stones. There were people drinking on the stones. Some of the stones were vandalised, one grave even had a tree growing through the centre of it,” said Kemp.
The cemetery’s maintenance falls under the control of Msunduzi Municipality and the local authority has been criticised over the poor upkeep of the facility.
Camp said that the only clean place in the cemetery were the offices, and some staff members were seen sitting under trees.
She urged those with relatives buried, or with their ashes interred, at the cemetery to check on the state of the sites. For example, she said she had recently come across an urn bearing a name but containing no ashes.
Camp told The Mercury that she used to visit the cemetery once every two months, but was now likely to visit more frequently so that she can check on the graves’ state.
Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said due to the size of the cemetery, maintenance was a challenge but she stressed that everything possible was being done to keep it in a good condition.
“The municipality is always conducting maintenance on the cemetery and crematorium. Please bear in mind that the Mountain Rise cemetery is 66 hectares (in size). We have already started to cut the grass with 10 brush cutter machines,” she said.
She admitted that security was limited to the guarding of buildings in the cemetery and that there were no guard patrols.