No to Blue Crane Funerals Crematorium 150m from homes!!!

No to Blue Crane Funerals Crematorium 150m from homes!!!

5 April 2022
Signatures: 208Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Strand Community


This is a formal objection to the proposed crematorium and associated infrastructure which Blue Crane Funerals (Pty) Ltd (BCF) intends to develop at Erf 22973, 28 De Kock Street, Strand. This letter was sent to Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town for attention and comment, Leiston Eiston, Senior Environmental Consultant of SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, Environmental Consultants, for noting a formal objection to the proposed development and Editor of the District Mail, Tasmin Cupido, for publishing in the local newspaper. 

It is our submission that the proposed crematorium of BCF and the associated infrastructure as well as the application for the exemption from  Regulation 18(1) of the Regulations Relating to the Management of Human Remains (2013) should be rejected.

The details and various reports as well as public comments and objections can be found: Public Documents

We are residents in the Strand, who live in close proximity to the proposed crematorium. It is our submission that the City of Cape Town (CCT) should never have entertained this development for the following reasons:

1.    The By-Law of CCT on Cemeteries, Crematoria and Funeral Undertakers of 2011 at 52(2)(a) provides that the application has to comply with all applicable legislation. One of the most important applicable legislative provisions is contained in the National Health Act no 61 0f 2003 (NHA). Section 18(1)(a) of the NHA provides that a cremation facility must be located at least 500m from any habitable dwelling. The Regulations for the Management of Human Remains (2013) specify that cremation facilities
must be located at least 500 m from any habitable dwelling. However, exemption from compliance is permitted if the facility will not create a health nuisance, health hazard or endanger human health. CCT needs to note that a RDP development is located less than 200m away, in the same street as the proposed crematorium. The Strand Muslim Primary School is located approximately 300m away from the proposed crematorium and residents in George Street, Hammond Street, Van Rheede Street and Nolte Street are all located less than 500m away from the proposed crematorium, as the crow flies. How does CCT propose to bypass national legislation? The legislation is not there for decorative purposes. It is intended to set a minimum standard for the prevention of health hazards to citizens and animals in close proximity to harmful chemicals emissions of crematoriums. It has been well documented in studies, notably a study done by the Cooperative Memorial Society on the effects of cremation on the environment ( that crematoriums are responsible for the emission of harmful chemical gasses, which include: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulpher dioxide, hydrogen chlorides, mercury vapour as well as arsenic and selenium. It is conceivable that those effected could sue CCT and BCF if their health is compromised by a development which was approved in contravention of national legislation.  

2.    The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution) in section 24 of the Bill of Rights provides that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and that the state has the duty to “(i) prevent pollution and ecological degradation; (ii) promote conservation; and (iii) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.” The Constitution therefore obliges the City to, inter alia, prevent pollution, while also promoting economic development, but only if the development is reasonable and justifiable. This site for the proposed crematorium cannot be justified at the cost of the health of the community, even if a demand exists for such a service, because BCF needs to find a suitable location which complies with the standards of the NHA. The rights of the family of the deceased and the financial interests of the developer cannot be justified and outweigh the rights of living residents, school children and animals of the community. 

3.    If the development is approved, the health of residents more remote from the proposed crematorium will also be affected, because the air pollution will be carried by winds endemic to the Strand area. The value of residential properties in close proximity to the development as well as properties further away from the development of BCF will be negatively affected due to the carrying wind pollution. The affected areas will include the Greenways Golf Estate and more affluent Strand areas. The users of the Strand Boardwalk recreational facility, much valued for exercise and recreation will also suffer the effects of the pollution. The Strand is also home to many senior citizens who has chosen this seaside village as their final retirement destination. They too will be effected by the pollution.

4.    We have taken the liberty to question some residents of the RDP township further down the street from the proposed development for input and found that none of them seem to be aware of the BCF crematorium. Their health will be directly affected by the pollution, which is indicative of the fact that proper due processes were not followed. It is also an indication of a total disregard for the rights of the less privileged whose rights to equality are protected under section 9 of the Constitution.

5.    Children’s rights are protected under section 28 of the Constitution. Section 28(1)(d) protects the child from maltreatment. We suggest that pollution is a form of maltreatment. In terms of section 28(2) the child’s best interest is of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child. It is submitted that pollution on the doorstep of a primary school affecting the health and safety of children must be of paramount importance. Such a health and safety hazard cannot be in their best interest. 

6.    It is common knowledge that air pollution leads to the dropping of blood oxygen levels in our bodies which creates heart conditions, a comorbidity which has a direct bearing on COVID19  ( Does CCT really want to be seen to exacerbate the very pandemic which they so desperately seek to address with their vaccination campaign? We think not.

7. See the "guarantee" which is actually a disclaimer by the vendor in regard to the operation of the diesel incinerators (The Incinerator Factory).

The vendor cannot guarantee that the cremators will meet the minimum emission standards, even when it is operated correctly and maintained by BCF. 

This means that the applicant cannot prove that these two incinerators will meet the minimum emission standards, required by law. If the legal emissions standard cannot be guaranteed, the application for deviation from the minimum distance to habitable dwellings, should not be granted.

As per Page 122:

"Although the site is located ~150m for the nearest receptors, , distance is not the only determinant of air quality (and associated health and odour impacts). Air quality and associated health and odour
impacts are dependent on a number of other factors such as climatic conditions, existing air quality and importantly, the abatement technology, all of which have been taken into account in the air
dispersion model, upon which the findings of the EIA are based. Since BCF own the site and since the AQIA found that the development of BCF’s crematorium and associated infrastructure at the site
assessed (Erf 22973) is acceptable (i.e. health and odour impacts from the project and / or cumulative emissions in the area are unlikely provided the essential mitigation measures listed in the EIA are implemented) for all three stack height alternatives, , development at the site is considered
environmentally and socially acceptable to SRK and additional site alternatives were not considered further by BCF."

Acceptable to SRK? They were paid for this assessment by who?

BCF should have read the bylaws when purchasing the property. It was also (incorrectly) stated in the District Mail article that BCF is already operating from these premises. They are not, they are renting it out to another company. They trade from their HQ. Evident of the lack of actual facts in this assessment, based on assumptions.

For all the above reasons, it is our submission that the proposed crematorium of BCF and the associated infrastructure as well as the application for the exemption from  Regulation 18(1) of the Regulations Relating to the Management of Human Remains (2013) should be rejected.

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Signatures: 208Next Goal: 500
Support now