At long last a concerted effort has been made to clear up the Aberdeen cemetery, and it is once again an area that residents of Aberdeen can be proud to show to tourists. There has been a great deal of criticism recently from both visitors and residents about the general state of neglect, with weeds flourishing and graves overgrown. Now the weeds have been cleared, paths cleaned and graves neatened up, a vast improvement.
The clean-up was done as part of a programme of the Sakhisizwe team under the auspices of the department of public works. Previous projects have included clearing the grounds of the schools in Aberdeen, where a huge improvement has also been noted.
The perimeter wall of the cemetery on the road past the Showgrounds has also been repaired, paid for by insurance. There is some debate as to whether the whole wall will have to be rebuilt, as apparently it is not up to the required standard, but at least there is now a wall!
One area that is still causing great concern however is the emergency furrow that runs alongside the cemetery wall when approaching on the Grey Street side. The furrow seems to be used as a general dustbin, and is littered with bottles, plastic and other rubbish, much of which has collected under the bridge just before the entrance. According to senior administrator Clive Kombani, this area will be cleared shortly by a team from public works. The state of this approach, which is the one used by most visitors to the cemetery, is a disgrace at present, and it is unfortunately the first thing that visitors see. The Jewish cemetery also needs work, but according to Kombani, it is locked, and the municipality do not have access.
A large heap of rubbish has been dumped outside the cemetery, stretching along Grey Street for almost a block It has been there for several weeks. When The Advertiser visited earlier this week, a municipal tractor with a trailer was there to start clearing the rubbish, but at 9.30 in the morning there was still no sign of any workers!