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Khorixas residents unhappy with burial fees

by Rodney Pienaar

Residents of Khorixas have expressed disappointment in their town council over the high burial fees which they are asked to pay for them to be allocated a spot to bury their loved ones.

The residents have said that the N$600 which the council asks for is too high for the little services they receive during the time of burial.

This is because the council only allocates an area which is measured but then residents are left to dig the graves themselves.

Alpheus Nuwuseb told The Villager that he is disappointed in the manner the town council milks funds from senior citizens especially.

“The town council does not consider whether the person that has died is a senior citizen with children or whether the elderly person that has died has family that will afford to pay for the burial fees. I recently paid an amount of N$600 from my pension just to have space for my daughter to be buried, I then had to pay some of the young men in the location to dig the grave for me. I do not understand why I have to pay this much money if they can’t even help dig the grave,” he fumed.

He added that the town council officials do not bother after they have received the funds whether the space allocated for the burial purposes is rocky or soft which means that locals can spend days digging a grave.

Another pensioner that identified herself as Maria /Nauses said that the council does not show any remorse towards the residents when it comes to basic charges.

“Be it water or burial fees it is all the same. We are not given any special treatment as senior citizens. These kids will just come and close your water and ask more money to open it.  I have buried many of family members at this graveyard but the money they are charging us for burial space is N$600. If they could have helped dig the graves with their machines that they are driving around in the streets for nothing then I would have understood,” she said.

She added that the council needs to reduce the fees and make special arrangements for senior citizens and unemployed persons and households with poor income as they are perfectly aware that there is little employment in Khorixas.

 “I do not know how to even comment on this. I have been to many towns in Namibia and I think this is one of the only towns where people are digging graves by themselves. This has to be changed as this only befits the council while there is machinery that could be used for digging graves. I hope that they will be able to provide information as in how much they are making from these fees on an annual basis. The grave yards do not even have a fence so what are they using this money for,” fumed another resident, Simson Kheib.

He added that the council needs to review its tariffs for basic charges because it is too high compared to bigger towns.

When contacted for a comment, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of council Ester /Nanus confirmed that the residents are charged N$600 for burial fees and said that she was not aware that the residents have to dig graves at their own cost after paying.

“I really did not know that the residents are digging graves by their own. All this time I thought that we as the council are responsible for digging the graves for the residents so that they can just go burry their loved ones. We also have problems with machinery so when we sit for the next financial year’s budget we will definitely discuss the issue,” she said.