Thembisile Hani Municipality fails rural communities who have run out of burial space

Issued by Cllr John Tibane – DA Councillor: Thembisile Hani Local Municipality
18 May 2023 in Press Releases

Desperate villagers near KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga, have resorted to burying their loved ones in an illegal dumping site as the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality has failed to secure suitable land. 

The Suncity C Village Cemetery next to the R568 Road near KwaMhlanga reached capacity in January this year already. After numerous failed attempts to get a new fenced suitable burial site from the Thembisile Hani local municipality, residents from Suncity A, B, C, D, and Mandela Villages are now laying to rest their departed loved ones in the nearby illegal dumping site (next to the already full Suncity C Village Cemetery). 

The residents alleged that the other available suitable site that, is land rumoured to belong to Speedy Mashilo, a current Member of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and an MEC for Human Settlements. 

It is alleged that the municipality also told them that an open field next to Mashilo’s land is earmarked to build a new township called Mashilo Ville, so there’s no other alternative, but communities can travel to other cemeteries for burials. 

This is cause for grave concern as these residents will most likely not be able to make the commute to bury loved ones or visit grave sites following their burial.  

The DA will write a letter to the Mayor of Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, Jacob Dikgale, and the Municipal Manager, Dumisani Mahlangu, asking them to engage with the Traditional Leadership and Speedy Mashilo to urgently make available land of at least the size of 4-soccer fields as an extension to the already full Suncity C Village Cemetery. We understand that South Africa may be running out of burial sites, but the people of KwaMhlanga are desperate and urgently need land to bury their loved ones. This municipality must help urgently.