Aids Impact Forces Grave Recycling

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, Jan. 16, 2006

Johannesburg—The impact of HIV/AIDS on the South African port city of Durban could soon see the municipality having to recycle graves.

According to Thembinkosi Ngcobo, the city’s head of parks and cemeteries, the lack of space is so severe that Redhill Cemetery in Durban North is expected to have its last conventional burial this week.

“Although underestimated, [AIDS] is really decimating our population—a mere six years ago we used to have four funerals on a Saturday at Redhill, but lately the average is 30 funerals on Saturdays alone,” he told the local Independent newspaper.

Ngcobo conceded the new plan could face resistance, as gravesite recycling might not be readily acceptable to all cultures.

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