The National Funeral Shutdown group organised a march through the Pretoria CBD on Wednesday. About 70 protesters gathered to bring their grievances to six government departments at the Union Buildings.
The funeral parlour owners demand to change the current legislation in the sector as it is making it difficult for the newcomers to operate in the industry.
“The Department of Health defines a funeral undertaker as someone who owns a mortuary. That’s our issue – why ownership? Because a mortuary is a mortuary if you can put the deceased, irrespective of who owns the mortuary,” convener Thokozani Dladla explained. “When the government creates legislation and puts ownership [at the centre], automatically, they’re excluding black people because black people don’t own anything. When you create legislation and put ownership, they’re excluding black people and that legislation is at the core of the funeral industry because that’s where we are issued the certificate of competence in local government.”
The protesters handed over their memorandum to Vincent Ngcobo, an official in the office of the Presidency. He advised the Government would go through the demands and revert back within 14 days.