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Funeral Strike Comes To An End in South Africa

After three days of unrest, the National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa have said that it will be business as usual from today. That’s after many funeral homes have been on a three-day nationwide strike since Monday. Undertakers say the government has made it difficult for smaller and emerging parlours to grow. They also disapprove of regulations that require a certificate of competency to move bodies and dig graves.

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Horisani Sithole reports, listen to the SABC Newsbreak podcast here,

The funeral sector strike had affected the movement of dead bodies between homes, hospitals and mortuaries nationwide for three days. In their memorandum to government, they list demands addressed to various government departments. They also demand the outsourcing of mortuary facilities.

The strike had been organised by the Unification Task Team or UTT, which comprises of 17 associations and forums. Director of Thekwini Funeral centre in Durban Rajesh Maharaj says he’s been fighting for transformation in the sector for more than 20 years. Maharaj says he hopes that at the end of the three day strike, there is a fair process in the awarding of state funeral tenders among the smaller and emerging funeral parlours in the country.

Legal expert Saber Ahmed Jazbhay, says although peaceful action by funeral associations is lawful, it may conflict with the religious rights of people – especially those of the muslim faith which requires burial within a few hours of death.

Source: Newsbreak Lotus

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