Rebecca Street Cemetery is one of the Pretoria West cemeteries where graves are covered with overgrown grass. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency(ANA)
Rebecca Street Cemetery is one of the Pretoria West cemeteries where graves are covered with overgrown grass. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency(ANA)

Swift action to clean-up Tshwane cemeteries after complaints

By Ntando Makhubu Time of article published Jan 6, 2021

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Pretoria - Just one day after our report on the neglected state of the Centurion cemetery, maintenance teams have been deployed to clean up graveyards.

They have become a political football, with the DA administration saying they were neglected by the ANC interim leaders of the council.

When they returned to office late last year, it was to multiple problems, just one of which was the unkempt cemeteries.

Referring to Olievenhoutbosch and Centurion cemeteries they said service delivery tenders - such as those pertaining to grass cutting and maintenance, had lapsed under the ANC administrators.

“The result was that during their eight-month tenure, areas across the City became overgrown ... but upon assuming office the work began, to ensure that these tenders were then properly administrated so that service providers can be deployed,” said acting Chief of Staff in the mayor’s office, Jordan Griffiths.

He said the necessary admin was concluded with the service providers indicating that they would be available to begin work this month.

He said clean-up work had now started in earnest, as there was “an immense backlog”. Griffiths said teams had been deploying across the city to systematically clean and clear the sites, and added that first would be work being done at Heatherdale, Zandfontein, Rebecca Street, Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville, Saulsville and the Pretoria East and Silverton cemeteries.

The promise to clean burial sites follows complaints from those who went to pay respects to loved ones and were distressed with the state of the sites.

Residents of Centurion had a litany of complaints from a water leak to ablutions, a fallen tree and long grass.

Said Griffiths: “The DA-led Tshwane has every intention of ensuring that the City’s cemeteries are maintained, and this includes the Centurion cemetery.

Pretoria News

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