A few stats about South African Cemeteries

When assessing the post about the new garden cemetery in Durbanville, South Africa, I came across a few statistics about the cemetery situation in SA. Read on…

  1. It is predicted that extending existing council cemeteries will provide enough space until 2013. The new cemeteries planned by the council will see Cape Town through to 2020
  2. Thirty-six percent of those who died in the Western Cape in 2001 were cremated – at municipal crematoriums in Maitland, Worcester and Malmesbury
  3. Cape Town’s eight Muslim cemeteries are all privately owned because council cemeteries cannot guarantee the burial of bodies before sunset prayers – as required by the religion. Three of the eight cemeteries are full
  4. There were 12 170 burials in Cape Town municipal cemeteries last year. In 2001 there were 536 in Cape Town’s first private cemetery, Eden Memorial Garden in Ottery, and 1 631 Muslim burials
  5. There is a two-tier cost for council cemeteries. In the so-called “A” cemeteries – which have grass, pathways, fences and toilets – a “private” grave costs R1 650. A “public grave” costs R650. Another body may be buried in a public grave later but families have five years to pay the R1 000 difference to turn a public grave into a “private” one
  6. In the more basic “B” cemeteries – which lack amenities and landscaping – a “private” grave costs R450 and a “public” grave R400
  7. Actuarial projections are that by 2011 the Aids epidemic will cause the death rate in the Cape metropolitan area to increase by 50%
  8. The council has rejected exhuming bodies to create new space because it is too expensive and upsetting for relatives