BCC slapped with R1m bill for impounded cremator

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) will fork R1 million rand to secure the release of a cremator it purchased in South Africa which was impounded by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) three years ago.

The cremator was bought in September 2017 but was not delivered after the SARS  impounded it in February 2019 following the closure of the company which had won the tender to purchase and supply the cremator.

The cremator has since attracted a storage bill of R1 078 532.

It was supposed to be installed at Luveve Cemetery which would have been the city’s first crematorium in the western areas.

According to the latest council minutes, Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube said failure to settle the bill meant the local authority risked losing the initial deposit of $97 120.

Council management hence resolved to pay the storage bill and have the machine delivered as means of mitigating its loss.

“The Town Clerk reported (2nd June 2021) that Council (6th September 2017) had resolved that Council had taken over the contract for procurement and delivery of Cremator which had been stuck at Durban due to importation challenges,” the minutes read.

“The matter had been pending in court in order to discharge the rule nisi. The rule nisi had since been discharged after a very long time and the cremator had accumulated a huge storage bill.”

Dube explained that SARS had since contacted BCC advising them that the bill is accumulating.

“Council thus has two options to make, either to pay the storage costs and have the cremator released as soon as possible or to abandon and lose both the cremator and a deposit of $97 120.00 which had been made,” read the minutes.

“Authority was hereby sought to settle the bill in order for the cremator to be released without further delay. The matter was considered and the Acting Chamber Secretary advised that Council should consider option 1 in order to mitigate its losses. It was resolved that authority be granted to Council to settle the bill in order for the cremator to be released without further delay.”

According to the latest council report, 11 people were cremated in the city last month.

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