CREDIT: File pic

JP Smith, Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security and Social Service, says the City is running out space at existing cemeteries while there is great competition among departments for open tracts of land.

The City this week announced it was ploughing R22.2 million into constructing a new Metro South-East Cemetery in Mfuleni as the demand for burial ground grows.

Smith says there are 40 cemeteries in the city, but with 26 446 deaths recorded in Cape Town last year, and 13 500 burials, graves are becoming scarce.

The rest were buried outside Cape Town or in private cemeteries, or cremated.

Yesterday, he called on people to opt for cremation instead: “We are competing with other departments who need the land for service delivery.

“That includes recreation and parks, housing, transport and the numerous departments and land is in short supply.

“So if there are not religious or cultural reasons that prohibit cremation, we strongly ask residents to consider this option, in that it is far more environmentally considerate and far more sustainable and more affordable.”

He says the new graveyard in Mfuleni will provide 24 800 gravesites.