Thursday, April 12, 2007

News from South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- AIDS-hit South Africa is running short of cemetery space and residents of its main city, Johannesburg, need to consider "nontraditional" burials, including cremation, Mayor Amos Masondo said on Wednesday.

Masondo said 24 of the city's 35 cemeteries were already at full capacity and, although enough spaces remain for the foreseeable future, other options must now be considered.

"The city would like to make an appeal to residents to consider amongst other options, stack burials and cremations," the SAPA news agency quoted Masondo as saying at the opening of a new cemetery on the outskirts of the city.

South African officials have repeatedly warned in recent years of a looming shortage of burial plots, attributed in part to rapid urbanization and a cultural reluctance among African families to consider options such as cremation.

Masondo suggested that families could begin to double up with "stack burials" at existing, family-held gravesites.

Masondo did not explicitly mention South Africa's HIV/AIDS crisis, which infects about one in nine of the country's adults, but analysts say the epidemic is directly to blame for rising mortality rates in the country.

Masondo urged Johannesburg residents to respect existing graveyards and not to take them over for ramshackle temporary housing.

"Respecting those who are no more can add so much meaning to the land of the living," he said.

8 comments:

Soul said...

ahhh, this reminds me of similar news reports in the UK (happened a few years back)
Their was outrage and it was blamed on all sorts of things.. largely more immigrants (as most things are blamed on immigrants in the UK)

the stacking idea and cremation was suggested as well.. I think the stacking idea is the one that got the most nods...
people share burial plots now...

LondonBuki said...

I didn't know about stacking... wow!

snazzy said...

the thing I love most about this post is that the funeral guy went out of his way to not mention the AIDS effect, and the idiot reporter went out of his way to point it out.

Anyway it is not yet time for me to suggest therapy for ur 300 addiction but it is close.

Oh and you were right about the court issue things being the most plausible reasons for the public holidays

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

running out of cemetary space? thats a first... i mean i've heard about running out of garbage space... but cemetary space? wow... this is serious

dairy of a G said...

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Simply Gorgeous said...

Stack burials are done a lot in the caribbean countries...

Cremation, I don't know. Even if I am dead I don't want to be burned. My dad though wants to be cremated , go figure...

Great post- uzo..

Biodun said...

Sad stuff, 1 in 8 adult have HIV/AIDS??

TaureanMinx said...

Sad, but I cremation seems like a god idea. Why don't people like it afterall its my soul that matters. The body will rot eventually.