City-owned crematorium undergoing refurbishment after complaints

The City of Tshwane’s Pretoria West crematorium.Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

The City of Tshwane’s Pretoria West crematorium.Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 27, 2024


The City of Tshwane’s crematorium located in the west of Pretoria, which has previously been described by some undertakers as dysfunctional, is said to be undergoing a refurbishment.

Many undertakers, who spoke to the “Pretoria News” last year, lamented the fact that they were forced to use crematoria outside the City, saying the exercise was expensive due to transport costs and other logistics affecting their customers.

However, Deputy Mayor Nasiphi Moya assured residents this week that the Pretoria West crematorium, also known as the Rebecca crematorium, is on track in terms of the finishing of its refurbishment.

She expressed optimism that the crematorium is well on track to reopen by December.

She said she took political oversight over the prolonged crematorium refurbishment when the matter was brought to the executive mayor’s office by concerned communities.

“The crematorium was last active in June 2023. The initial project target date for completion was set for the end of 2023, but we were unfortunately unable to meet this deadline,” she said.

She said the municipality is cognisant of the fact that the crematorium is the only municipal-run entity in Tshwane and its non-operation means that residents have to travel to bordering municipalities for this valued service.

Moya said: “We apologise for the prolonged delays. Recently, I held a meeting with concerned residents and as of Friday, June 14, 2024, an update from the City is that the full restoration will be done by December 2024.”

According to her, a service provider has been appointed; additionally, further funds have been allocated for the new 2024/25 financial year to help fund R1,2 million for gas provision and R150 000 for regular maintenance of the crematorium.

“The service provider has been able to attend to repairs on the mechanical sections for drying out and testing the equipment stacker. There is also commissioning underway for a burner of the second machine. The service provider has also installed new software,” Moya said.

She added that a tender for a three-year deal for the provision of gas has been approved by the City’s bid adjudication committee.

Speaking to the “Pretoria News” last year, undertaker Santie Snyman, of Santie Snyman Begrafnisdienste, said she had long decided to ditch the municipal-run crematorium and was now using the one in Emalahleni.

She cited that the services at the City’s crematorium were not effectively rendered and also too expensive.

Another undertaker, Marlou Caljaard of Eenheid Funeral Services, whose funeral parlour stopped using the crematorium at Rebecca Street eight years ago, said he was aware of several complaints from those using it.

When he was using the municipal crematorium, he said he had to wait three to four weeks “before we could cremate and that caused a lot of inconveniences for us and families”. He said it forced them to use private services.

Pretoria News

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