Cemeteries, Crematoria and Funeral Undertakers By-law, 2011
- Published in Western Cape Provincial Gazette 6898 on 12 August 2011
- Assented to on 22 June 2011
- Commenced on 12 August 2011
- [This is the version of this document from 12 August 2011 and includes any amendments published up to 28 July 2023.]
PreambleWHEREAS in terms of Part B of schedule 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996 cemeteries, crematoria and funeral parlours are local government matters;AND WHEREAS section 73 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) places a general duty on municipalities to give effect to the provisions of the Constitution;AND WHEREAS the City of Cape Town seeks to ensure the proper management of cemeteries, crematoria and funeral undertakers within the area of jurisdiction of the City;AND NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED by the Council of the City of Cape Town, as follows:-
1. DefinitionsIn this By-law, unless the context otherwise indicates -"above-ground burial" means when a structure is employed for the interment of a body and such structure is located above normal ground level;"approved" means approved by the City;"ashes" means the cremated remains of a corpse;"ash grave" means a grave for the burial of cremated remains, with such grave covered by a memorial plaque or slab;"authorised official" means an official of the City authorised to implement or enforce the provisions of any law;"berm section" means a grave section in a cemetery set aside by the City where memorial work is restricted to a headstone only with ground cover planted over the length of the grave;"biodegradation" means a process whereby the corpse is disposed of by bio-friendly chemical dissolution;"burial" means when land is excavated for the interment of a body or ashes or when a structure is employed for the interment of a body or ashes;"burial order" means a burial order issued in terms of section 20 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992);"cemetery" means any land containing one or more graves;"City" means the City of Cape Town established in terms of section 12 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998) by Provincial Notice No. 479 dated 22 September 2000, as amended;"City Parks" means the Department of City Parks in the Directorate: Community Services in the City of Cape Town;"corpse" means the remains of a deceased person and includes a still-born child and foetus;"corpse reduction" means any process used to reduce corpses including cremation, freeze reduction and biodegradation;"Council" means the Council of the City or any political structure, political office bearer, councillor or any staff member acting under council's delegated or sub-delegated authority;"cremated remains" means all recoverable ashes of a corpse after the cremation;"cremation" means the process whereby a corpse is reduced by fire;"crematorium" means a building where deceased persons are cremated;"environmental health practitioner" means a person appointed as such in terms of section 80 of the National Health Act 61 of 2003;"exhumation" means the removal of a corpse from its grave;"freeze reduction" means the process whereby the corpse is disposed of by freeze drying;"funeral undertaker" means any person, organisation or corporate body in the business of, or which undertakes or organises the burial or reduction of corpses for gain;"funeral undertaker's premises" has the meaning assigned to it in regulation 1 of the regulations;"garden of remembrance" means a section of a cemetery set aside for the erection of memorials to an individual, a group of people or an event, memorial walls, niche walls, the establishment of ash graves and the scattering of ashes;"grave" includes any place, whether wholly or partly above or below ground level in which a corpse is permanently interred or intended to be permanently interred, whether in a coffin or other receptacle or not, and also includes any monument, tombstone, cross, inscription, rail, fence, chain, erection or other structure of whatsoever nature forming part of or appurtenance to such grave;"in-ground burial" means when land is excavated for the interment of a body;"interment" means to commit a corpse or ashes to its final resting place;"landscape section" means a grave section in a cemetery set aside by the City where memorial work is restricted to a horizontally placed plaque or a memorial slab, with ground cover planted over the length of the grave;"mausoleum" means an above-ground burial chamber or chambers to accommodate a body and a coffin with such chambers stacked vertically in varying forms and heights;"memorial square" means a grave section in a cemetery set aside for the interment and memorialisation of heroes and celebrated persons;"memorial wall (cenotaph)" means a wall or structure on which the names of heroes and celebrated persons are depicted, including the graphic depiction of historical events;"memorial work" means any headstone, monument, plaque, other work or object, erected or intended to be erected in a cemetery to commemorate a deceased person, and includes a kerb demarcating a grave, a slab covering a grave and wooden, granite, marble or steel crosses;"monumental section" means a grave section in a cemetery set aside for the erection of memorial work;"multiple burial" means subsequent interments in the remaining depth of a grave;"next of kin" means the surviving spouse, unless otherwise determined by customs, or if there is no surviving spouse, the surviving child or children, or where there is no surviving child or are no surviving children, the closest surviving descendant or descendants, or there are no surviving descendants, the surviving parent or parents, or where there is no surviving parent or no surviving parents. the surviving sibling or siblings, or where there is no surviving sibling or are no surviving siblings, the other blood relation or blood relations of the deceased who are related to him or her in nearest degree, provided that where this By-law requires the consent of the next of kin, and the next of kin refers to more than one person, in terms of this definition, then the consent of all these persons shall be required;"niche" means a compartment in a structure designed for the placement of ashes;"niche wall" means a wall or structure containing niches;"notifiable disease" means any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities when diagnosed, even at death;"officer in charge" means the authorised official whom the City appoints from time to time in a supervisory capacity with regard to a cemetery or crematorium;"ossuary" means a chest, building, well or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains;"prescribed fee" means a fee as determined by the City;"private cemetery" means land which is used as a cemetery but not owned by the City;"private crematorium" means a building where deceased persons are cremated but is not owned and/or managed by the City;"public grave" means a grave in which a second burial of any member of the public may take place after a period of five years and on which the erection of a headstone is not permitted for either the first or second burial;"reduction burial" refers to the making of a grave available for a subsequent interment after a specified period;"regulations" means the regulations governing Funeral Undertakers' Premises, made under sections 33 and 39 of the Health Act, 1977 (Act No. 63 of 1977);"surface grave units" means an above-ground burial system which employs on-site constructed or prefabricated burial chambers to accommodate the body and the coffin, with such chambers layered above the normal ground level.
Disposal and interment of a body
2. Methods of disposal of a bodySubject to the applicable provisions of this By-law, and any other applicable law, a body maybe disposed of by
3. Consent required for interment
4. Interment times
6. Construction material of coffinA coffin interred in a grave should insofar as this is possible be constructed of natural wood or other non-toxic, perishable material.
7. Coffin to be coveredThe person referred to in section 3(2), must ensure that a coffin, upon being placed in a grave, is covered with at least 300mm of earth prior to the conclusion of the ceremony.
8. Dimensions of grave apertures
9. Indigent personsA person making application for the burial of an indigent person, must make a declaration to that effect.
10. RegisterThe City must keep a record of all interments and such record must contain
11. Right of burial
12. Religious and other ceremoniesThe members of a religious denomination may, without prior permission and during the interment and at the grave, conduct a religious ceremony in connection with an interment or memorial service, which ceremony may not last more than the time period determined by the City.
13. Music inside cemeteryNo unduly loud or disturbing music with singing shall be permitted in a cemetery. and instrumental music and amplified sound shall only be permitted with the consent of the City.
14. Hearse and other vehicles at cemetery
15. Instruction of officer in chargeA person taking part in a funeral procession or ceremony in a cemetery must follow the reasonable instructions of the City.
16. Funeral undertakers
The administration and control of cemeteries
17. Appointment of officer in charge
18. Hours of admission for public
19. ChildrenNo child under twelve (12) years of age may enter a cemetery unless he or she is under the care of a responsible adult person.
20. Keeping to pathAll persons are required to keep to the paths indicated in a cemetery, where such paths exist.
21. Prohibited conduct within any cemetery
Private cemeteries and crematoria
22. Parts of by-law applicableThe provisions of sections, 5, 6, 10, and chapter 9 of this By-law shall apply mutatis mutandis to private cemeteries, and the provisions of sections 52, 53 and 55(2) shall apply mutatis mutandis to private crematoria.
23. Duties of proprietors
Sections in a cemetery
24. City may establish sections
25. Monumental section
26. Berm section
27. Landscape section
28. Garden of remembrance
29. Crematorium and corpse reduction facilityThe City may set aside sections in a cemetery for the establishment of a crematorium and a corpse reduction facility.
30. Memorial square
31. MausoleaA mausolea section may be established in a cemetery in which corpses are interred in mausolea.
32. Surface grave unitsA surface grave unit section may be established in a cemetery in which corpses are interred in surface grave units.
33. Denominational section
Erection and maintenance of memorial work and care of graves
34. Consent of city
35. Requirements for erection of memorial workA person erecting a memorial work must comply with the following:
36. Position, movement and removal of memorial work
37. Work and maintenance in respect of memorial work
38. Damaging of memorial workThe City is not responsible for any damage which may at any time occur to a memorial work and which is not due to the negligence of the authorised officials of the City.
39. Vehicle and tools
40. Complying with directives of the cityA person carrying out work within a cemetery must in all respects comply with the directives of the City.
41. Times for bringing in material and doing work
42. Subsiding soil conditionsThe City is not liable for damage to memorial work resulting from any subsiding soil.
43. Production of written consentA person charged with a work or on his or her way to or from work within the cemetery must, upon demand from the City or its authorised official, produce the written consent issued to him or her in terms of section 34(1).
44. Care of grave
Exhumation, reduction burial and ossuaries
45. Application for exhumation
46. Conditions of exhumation
47. Emergency exhumations
48. Wrongful burialThe City may if a body has been buried in contravention of this By-law, subject to the provisions of section 45 with the exception of section 45(1)(c), cause the body to be exhumed and reburied in another grave, in which event the relatives of the deceased must be notified of the intended exhumation and reburial and allowed to attend.
49. Reduction burialThe City may, after the lapse of a minimum time period of ten (10) years after the most recent burial in a grave, exhume the remains of a corpse for the purposes of the reduction of the corpse and rebury the remains of that corpse in the same grave, in a smaller coffin, at a greater depth, subject to the conditions that
50. Establishment of an ossuaryAn ossuary may be established in a cemetery.
Use and closure of disused cemeteries
51. Use and closure of disused cemeteries
52. Applications for cremation
54. Coffins for cremation
55. General requirements for memorials and memorial work
56. Disposal of ashes
57. Authentication and service of order, notice or other document
58. ComplaintA person wishing to lodge a complaint with the City in terms of the provision of this Bylaw must do so in writing at the City Manager's office.
59. Notice of compliance and representations
60. CostsShould a person fail to take the measures required of him or her by notice, the City may recover from such person all costs incurred as a result of it acting in terms of section 59(10).
61. AppealA person whose rights are affected by a decision delegated by the City may appeal against that decision by giving written notice of the appeal and the reasons therefore in terms of section 62 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) to the City Manager within 21 days of the date of the notification of the decision.
62. ChargesThe prescribed fees to be paid to the City in terms of this By-law must be determined in terms of the City of Cape Town: Tariff By-law.
63. Offences and penalties
64. Limitation of liabilityThe City is not liable for any damage or loss caused by
66. Powers and functions
67. Liaison forums in community
68. Guidelines and policiesThe City may at any time develop guidelines and policies in respect of cemeteries, crematoria, funeral undertakers, any matter connected therewith, and any other matter regulated in terms of this By-law.
69. Repeal of by-laws
70. Short title and commencementThis By-law is called the City of Cape Town: Cemeteries, Crematoria and Funeral Undertakers By-law, 2011.
History of this document
12 August 2011 this version
22 June 2011