The City of Ekurhuleni dispels the misconception that reservation of a grave confers ownership of such a burial site and entitles the burial site applicant to sell that right of use to a third party.
According to Themba Gadebe, metro spokesperson, reservation of a grave does not confer any form of ownership over a grave.
“It only gives a right to bury a loved one in the grave. Graves can only be purchased from the metro as and when required for immediate use,” said Gadebe.
“Nevertheless, a person who has reserved a grave, may cancel the reservation of the grave and get a refund, while the metro will reallocate the same to others in need.
“In the event where the person who has reserved a grave is late, the family or heirs may relinquish the right to use the unused grave back to the metro.”
He said according to the City’s by-laws on cemeteries and crematoriums, the transferring of rights in respect of existing reserved graves or selling of a reserved unused grave is prohibited.
“However, the metro may revoke a reservation on application by the person who has reserved it and refund the interment fee applicable at the time of the application.
“Applications for rescinding of a reservation can be submitted to the cemetery officer where the grave concerned is located for further processing.
“If the applicant for a reserved grave is late, a person intending to get a refund for a reserved grave has to bring an affidavit indicating that he/she can transact on behalf of the other family members or heirs.
“The affidavit has to also state that the concerned family members or heirs are entitled to receive the proceeds from the reserved grave. This affidavit has to be submitted together with application to cemetery office at the cemetery where the unused grave is.”
The Cemeteries and Crematorium By-laws is available on the City’s website: www.ekurhuleni.gov.za.