Weeds surround graves at the Centurion Cemetery. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
Weeds surround graves at the Centurion Cemetery. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Centurion cemetery is muddy, covered in weeds

By Ntando Makhubu Time of article published Jan 5, 2021

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Pretoria - The state of Centurion’s cemetery is a cause for concern, and has left a bad impression with visitors who paid their respects to loved ones over the festive season.

The cemetery, on Edward street, Hennopspark, is muddy in most places because of a water leak.

Visitor Linda Mchakathi said: “Visiting the grave of my young son to pray on New Year’s Day was painful.”

Mchakathi said she waded through mud and fought through weeds to find the small grave which she said was covered in growth.

The cemetery is unkempt, with piles of litter among the graves, and the ablutions are out of order.

A tree lies on top of one of the buildings, which locals said fell during strong winds last year.

Although the City said it was sourcing an explanation for the state of the cemetery from the relevant department, the ward councillor, Peter Sutton, said there was an ongoing process to expand the cemetery and to have it as a fully functional and open facility.

Responding to complaints about the leak, he said the issue had been escalated. “The water leak is a persistent issue, and long-term the entire water system will need to be replaced. It leaks sporadically at different places on the line,” he said.

“The tree removal is general maintenance at the cemetery,” Sutton added.

Nearby resident Matilda Brits said she had reported the leak last July but despite a reference number, dated July 29, nothing had been done.

Sean Hilde, after a visit to the cemetery on Sunday, said the leak was still ongoing: “It seems to have more water flow now,” he said.

He called the situation an emergency. He pointed out the wastage of water and said the City needed to act urgently to stop the water from flowing on to the grounds.

“I tried to shut it off, but the valve is broken. Please, I am begging you, there is so much good clean water being wasted,” he added.

In February last year, Tshwane said it was a non-active cemetery which would be open to the public upon completion, despite an environmental impact assessment for the expansion being approved in 2018.

The delay from converting it from a burial site for funerals booked years in advance to one for public burials had upset residents, most of whom said they would appreciate using it because it meant they would be closer to deceased loved ones.

Outstanding, even at the time, was a bulk water supply which had to be replaced, and a parking facility which had to be constructed inside an already standing brick wall.

Pretoria News

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