Water levels at some Cape Town cemeteries affected by heavy rainfall

The City of Cape Town warned water table levels at some cemeteries in the metro, has been affected due to heavy rains experienced in the City recently, which could potentially impact operations in the short term.

‘’While this is not a new phenomenon, the situation has been exacerbated by the prevailing weather conditions. I think we can all agree that this has been a very wet start to winter, and the impacts have been felt all around. Unfortunately, our cemeteries are not exempt, and we are working to manage the situation as best as possible,’’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

‘’The Recreation and Parks Department has implemented mitigation measures, and the City appreciates the understanding and cooperation of families, mourners and undertakers during this time,’’ she added.

PICTURE: Pixabay

Van der Ross said undertakers and bereaved families should be aware that shallower graves might need to be prepared.

‘’Depending on water table levels at a particular cemetery. This will limit the opportunity to bury a second coffin in the same private grave,’’ said Van der Ross.

The mayco member said the City reserves the right to advise against requests for reopening of a family grave if it is in an area of the cemetery where it is very waterlogged and/or recommend an alternate grave or an alternate cemetery.

Van der Ross gave tips on what to do at grave sites:

·        Parking, roads and pathways might be unusually flooded, or slippery, and the public is advised to exercise extreme caution.

·        Wear suitable weatherproof clothing and non-slip shoes to avoid slipping.

·        Arrive timeously at the burial and do not exceed the 30-minute timeslot so as to alleviate parking congestion.

·        Consider a smaller number of people attending burials, particularly during episodes of inclement weather.

·        Exercise caution when carrying coffins and avoid standing too close to open graves.

·        Consider weekday burials to reduce overcrowding of cemeteries on weekends.

Done By: Sibulele Stuurman


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