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Protesting funeral parlour owners give govt 14 days to respond to demands

The National Funeral Shut Down group staged a motorcade with coffins through the Pretoria CBD and marched on the Union Buildings.

A video screengrab of the National Funeral Shut Down march on 16 October 2019 in the Pretoria CBD.

PRETORIA - A group of funeral parlour owners on Wednesday made demands to six government departments and detailed how they believed the industry should be run.

The National Funeral Shut Down group staged a motorcade with coffins through the Pretoria CBD and marched on the Union Buildings. They wanted legislation governing the sector to be reviewed.

The group made demands to departments including Home Affairs, Trade and Industry, Transport and Finance.

They took issue with the fact that industry giants were allowed to assign their employees to register death certificates while emerging funeral parlours were not allowed to do this.

Convenor Thokozani Dladla said the Department of Health also had some problematic laws.

“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,” Dladla said.

The group also wanted emerging mortuaries to be recognised by the Department of Trade and Industry and to be considered when budgets were allocated.

A memorandum was handed over to Vincent Ngcobo, an official in the office of the Presidency.

Government has 14 days to respond to those demands.

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