Bulawayo City Council runs out of burial space

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BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is fast running out of burial space and is mulling establishing a new cemetery west of Pumula South.

By Blondie Ndebele, Own correspondent

According to a report of the Town Lands and Planning Committee, councillors felt the death rate was too high and there was need to identify more cemetery sites as soon as possible.

The local authority currently has seven cemeteries sites namely Old Luveve, Luveve Extension, Luveve 3, Hyde Park (second interment), West Park, Lady Stanley and Athlone Avenue.

400 people were buried in these cemeteries last month alone.

On the proposed cemetery near Pumula South, it has emerged the land belonged to Hawkflight Enterprises and was meant for residential houses. But council resolved that the company be given alternative land.

“It should, however, be noted that there was an urgent need of a cemetery site, and there would still be need to identify more cemetery sites even when this site comes on board,” part of the report reads.

“Due to an urgent need, the department has seen it fit to demarcate a cemetery site on a piece of land adjacent to the portion of Lot 27A that was subject to land exchange so as to avert a crisis situation.”

The committee said they were currently negotiating the finer details to conclude the exchange before the development of the site could start.

“The piece of land measures approximately 70 hectares in extent and is expected to accommodate about 150 000 graves,” the report read.

The land is expected to service the city for almost 28 years. The committee said the development of the cemetery would start as soon as the establishment of the site was approved.