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Funeral parlour owners protest over restrictive legislation

About 70 protesters disrupted traffic and elicited curious looks as they were led by two coffins carried by members of the group.

FILE: The demonstration is being organised by the National Funeral Shutdown group and members have taken their grievances to the Union Buildings on Wednesday. Picture: Freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG – Funeral parlour owners have marched through the Pretoria CBD to protest against legislation that they said was making it difficult for emerging undertakers to operate.

The demonstration is being organised by the National Funeral Shutdown group and members have taken their grievances to the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

About 70 protesters disrupted traffic and elicited curious looks as they were led by two coffins carried by members of the group.

Convener Thokozani Dladla said they were marching against the red tape set by the government, which prevented growth in the sector.

"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."

The group is preparing to hand over its memorandum at the Union Buildings, but they have come across some trouble with security guards closing the gates on them saying they were not allowed beyond the lawns.