Bulawayo seek govt intervention as SA clings to imported cremator for 3 years

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has turned to government’s intervention in resolving a long running dispute the local authority has been having with the South African Revenue Services over a cremator impounded 2017.

SARS confiscated the BCC’s cremator in 2017 over improper documentation.

The cremator, worth US$100 000 was in transit to Bulawayo from Japan from where it was being imported when it was impounded by South African authorities.

Council had contracted a private company to purchase and deliver the cremator.

Since the time, the local authority has tried to engage services of lawyers to secure the release of the cremator but all has been in vain.

According to latest council minutes, the local authority recently approached Vice President Kembo Mohadi to assist in the facilitation of the release of the machine.

“Council had long purchased a cremator which was awaiting delivery.

“The issue of the cremator had been raised with the Covid-19 National Taskforce led by the VP Kembo Mohadi. The South African government had been engaged,” reads the council minutes.

Council has, in the past, lost millions in botched deals to bogus private entities while some of the contracted companies have been accused of providing shoddy services despite being paid handsomely for the job.

“The delivery of the cremator from South Africa was subject to legal procedures which could be clarified as the lockdown restrictions in both countries were relaxed to allow law firms and the courts to function,” further reads part of the council’s Health, Housing and Education committee’s report.

Council is entertaining the idea of introducing mandatory cremation on children under 12 years of age as the city is running out of burial space.

However, some councillors feel all persons under 25 years must be incinerated.