Graveyards in grave need of serious attention

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Mpumalanga-Piet-Retief-Graveyards
Gravestones that are almost not visible

The residents of eMkhondo are very disgusted with the state of the cemeteries and a recent visit showed that they have every right to feel that way.

On our arrival at the cemetery on the corner of Theo Mocke – and Muller Street, we found that there are sections of the fence that are still not replaced. We can only speculate about the reasons why people will forcefully break down the fence, is to gain access. Lots of money was spent putting up a fence and a gate but, there is no use for it when anyone can enter at any time, day or night.

The graveyard next to the N2 road towards Pongola and the ones in Ethandakukhanya, have all seen better days. It is obvious that the grass has not been cut for months or even longer. The grass is so overgrown and choked with weeds that some of the gravestones are not even visible anymore. It is clear that every time we address this matter in the Excelsior Newspaper, only then a plan gets made to go out and cut the grass. We can only imagine the frustration of the loved ones trying to visit. These graveyards also have fences around it but, with no gates. Although there is ample space left for gates to be put up, nothing is happening.

Despite the fact that our current cemeteries are in a horrible state, a brand new one was built. This cemetery is situated on the Houdkop road. Surely the money they spent (on fencing and building ablution blocks) could have been used to do the necessary renovations at our current cemeteries. The new cemetery is also in a dreadful state. The ablution facilities’ doors have taken quite a hammering by someone who broke down the door because it was locked. It’s a losing battle to maintain the cemeteries if people don’t work together. It will surely help to keep the troublemakers out if the gates get locked when funerals don’t take place.  Then again, what about people who wish to visit a grave? Maybe the solution would be to keep gates locked between 17:00 and 08:00 daily. Surely the majority of vandalism happens during the evenings.

Where is the respect for the diseased?