The African Funeral Practitioners Organisation (Afpo) said that the organization and its affiliates would embark on a strike from Monday.
Funeral parlour directors are demanding that the outsourcing of mortuary facilities be recognized and legalized, among other things.
Afpo has warned that no bodies will be picked up from private and government mortuaries and homes.
It said that no funerals would be conducted due to the strike action by affiliated members and more than 3000 staffers.
Afpo’s Almarine Pole-Nkosi: “There will be no removal of bodies from government hospitals, from private hospitals and from homes. There will also be no funerals and no funeral suppliers, starting from the 14th to the 16th [of September].”
They also want the Home Affairs Department to allow them to appoint a third party to conduct some duties on their behalf, which is now prohibited by law.
The strike is expected to end on Wednesday but the organization has warned that it will intensify its action should government fail to meet its demands.
Meanwhile, the Health Department said that the strike was concerning, warning that it could lead to public health risks.
The department also said that it tried at several meetings last month to resolve the dispute and that the National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa was the only organization that had informed them of the strike.
But Afpo said that it too would not be operating today.
Afpo president Raisibe Pole-Nkosi: “We’ve been traying to talk to the government but they’ve never wanted to listen to us. We’ll still help our members… we’ll direct them to the police and then we wil direct them to forensics to do the pick-ups.”
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