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Pastor slams city’s high burial costs

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A local pastor has slammed the high burial costs in Kimberley

File picture: ANA

A LOCAL pastor has slammed the high burial costs in Kimberley, which he stated are unaffordable for bereaved families without funeral policies.

Pastor David Barends stated that while all the arrangements for his late nephew were in place for his funeral on Saturday, he was not able to afford the grave fee of R2 050.

“We were planning on burying him in the same grave where his aunt is buried – where the cost of reopening an existing grave is R1 720. However, we discovered that she was buried on top of another family member. The regulations only permit for a maximum of two bodies per grave,” said Barends yesterday.

He indicated that he had recently buried his uncle in Barkly West where he had paid R60 for a grave site, while in Ritchie, he said, the cost for a new grave was under R100.

“The tariffs in Kimberley are triple the amount paid for at any other municipality in the Northern Cape. Many families, including ours, are not earning an income and we do not have a funeral policy.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie explained that the tariffs were approved by council following public consultations, as was required before budget approval.

“It is unfortunately a narrow view to only single out grave tariffs and also compare with a municipality that is not on the same level as ours. Again, it is wrong to point out Ritchie as if it is a different municipality; it forms part of Sol Plaatje Municipality and the rates have been determined by us,” said Matsie.

“The debate and any objections must be raised before budget approval.”