Maitland Crematorium incinerator is back in operation

Published Jul 11, 2023


The second incinerator at the Maitland Crematorium which has been out of commission since late April, is finally back in operation this week.

The City of Cape Town which owns the crematorium, said the cremator furnace which has been out of service since April 24, for maintenance has received the necessary authorisation from the Air Quality Control authorities and passed the required stack tests which measure air quality emissions.

It said the Maitland Crematorium is now fully operational and has been granted permission to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist in this period of high demand.

The City of Cape Town said while there are other crematoriums across the province that are privately owned, it could not comment on their operational status.

“Losing a loved one is a stressful time, especially planning to lay them to rest. We are aware of the backlogs and have worked hard to ensure the second cremator came online again as soon as possible,” mayoral committee member for community services and health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross said.

The second incinerator at the Maitland Crematorium has been given the authorisation to operate fully this week. Picture: City of Cape Town

“We are working on expanding our cremator capacity in the future. We will communicate these details once finalised.

“With both of the City’s cremators fully functional, the cremation capacity has returned to normal. It is anticipated that the increase in cremations on a daily basis will start having a positive impact and ease the backlog which was starting to build up, as well as alleviate the pressure on the overall system,” Van der Ross said.

She said while the crematorium is at full capacity, there is still work to be done to catch up and it will optimise all options to ensure backlogs are reduced as speedily as possible.

The second incinerator at the Maitland Crematorium has been given the authorisation to operate fully this week. Picture: City of Cape Town

“The City acknowledges the pressure and impact undertakers are currently experiencing and how important it is for families to finalise final resting arrangements for loved ones.

“The City therefore conducts regular meetings with funeral undertakers and religious fraternities to engage on relevant matters, so as to ensure understanding of any challenges within the burial and funeral industry and the services which the City renders in this space,” Van der Ross said.

Residents are encouraged to consider these burial options to assist with the current shortage:

– Reopening family graves where possible to accommodate a second or third burial.

– Mausoleum burial: this burial is in an above ground building where coffins are enclosed. Mausoleum burials can be reserved with the City.

– Cremations where cultural and religious belief do not prohibit this.

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