CONSTRUCTION of a fence around Jubilee Park Cemetery in Uitenhage is currently under way following years of vandalism, crime and squatting by vagrants which has seen the deterioration of the facility.
Residents of Dower Avenue – which runs the length of the cemetery – have welcomed the installation of the fence, saying it would help protect tombstones and reduce crime.
Dower Avenue resident Kirsten George, 24, said she was robbed in the cemetery while visiting the grave of her grandfather, Jacob.
“We have been waiting for years for a new fence. I am sure it will help a lot in reducing crime in the area.
“It will also allow police to regain control of teenagers who go into the cemetery to smoke dagga.
“I was robbed in the cemetery about two years ago by what looked like a homeless guy. At least now the new gate will force the homeless people to find a new spot. So it doesn’t just improve the cemetery but the whole Jubilee Park area,” George said.
The cemetery has more than 200 grave sites and is also the final resting place of veteran political leader the late Allan Hendrickse – best known for his act of defiance against the apartheid government when he took a swim in 1987 at the then whites-only Kings Beach.
Ward 51 councillor Pieter Terblanche said the upgrade was long overdue and would make an immense difference in reducing crime in the area.
“These fences are much better than the regular palisade fencing because of their deep cement foundation. It was a necessity to have this done. Last week when I visited the cemetery it was a disgrace to see the vandalism . . . there.”
He said the wall of remembrance had broken doors, with ashes on the floor. Security patrols were needed.
A police spokeswoman said the fence would “definitely help us in our visible policing duties and help beautify the area”.
-Tremaine van Aardt