Photo Credit: Ivan Samkov via Pexels

The Friends of Joburg Cemeteries have been working hard to repair the damage done to the vandalised Ash Walls at Braamfontein Cemetery.


Johannesburg, South Africa (21 November 2023) – Earlier this year, the Braamfontein community were rattled when news broke that around 5,000 remembrance plaques at the Braamfontein Cemetery had been vandalised and destroyed. The desecration of these ash walls left everyone deeply angered. The Friends of the Johannesburg Cemeteries is a group of volunteers that have worked in Johannesburg’s oldest Cemeteries for the last few years. They took on the task of repairing the damage and honouring those who have been loved and lost.

“We estimate that more than 5000 plaques on the ash walls have been ripped off, cracked or broken; and each one of those needs to be mended and then fixed back in the correct place on its wall.

The Friends of Johannesburg Cemeteries have undertaken to return the area to a dignified and respected resting place. The Friends are all volunteers, who devote hours of their time to caring for our heritage cemeteries in Johannesburg, doing the work for which City Parks is not responsible i.e. caring for the graves and gravestones. Normally this involves cleaning and turning over stones which have fallen. But in April this year disaster struck the ash walls.

Many, many hours of research have been spent finding out where each plaque belongs and now that, that part of the job has been done, we have moved on to the next task which is fixing the plaques back onto the correct walls. This is where the volunteers have had to step back and let the professionals do the work. Over the past few weeks, we have managed to repair eight walls.” 


To get this next phase completed, the volunteers need to raise funds to pay the professionals who will continue rebuilding and repairing the ash walls.

“Because we are now using professionals, we need to pay them to work. We have committed to jobs for our builders well into the new year, but we are now at a point where the funds we have managed to raise are at an end and we desperately need funds to continue to pay the builders and ensure they can carry on with the project.

We anticipate that it will take us months still to complete the walls, and we have very limited resources of our own. We desperately need donations, if we are to continue to restore the dignity of the area, and give families the peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are once again being treated with respect.”


The volunteers are hoping to raise R50,000 to get the project completed.

“All funds raised from this platform will be used for payment of the builders we have hired, ensuring that they have job continuity into the foreseeable future and therefore supporting their households.”

To lend a helping hand in honouring those we have all loved and lost, you can check out the BackaBuddy page here.

Sources: Friends of Johannesburg Cemeteries
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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