Protesting funeral parlour owners threaten to shut Home Affairs on Wednesday

Funeral business owners demonstrated outside the Tshwane offices on Tuesday, demanding changes to the registration of death certificates.

Department of Home Affairs. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Funeral undertakers said that they were planning on disrupting services at Home Affairs offices across the country on Wednesday.

Funeral business owners demonstrated outside the Tshwane offices on Tuesday, demanding changes to the registration of death certificates.

Their protests turned violent when police fired rubber bullets and set off stun grenades to disperse them.

Two protesters were arrested, and several others were injured.

The undertakers said that the Home Affairs Department was delaying documents they needed to register death certificates for their clients.

Currently, funeral undertakers needed to pass a test set by government which gave them access to papers to register certificates for 12 months. But they now wanted the papers to be made permanent.

READ MORE: Delay in issuing death certificates impacting funeral parlours, say protesters

"The only people who pass the test can be issued with that certificate, they are now turning around and saying it will only last 12 months, which is unfair," said the group's Muzi Hlengwa.

The department said that it needed seven days to process the demands of the protesters, but Hlengwa said that thereā€™d been no movement on the issue for six months and they had no choice but to engage in a shutdown.

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