Undertakers in the Tshwane region have vowed to continue their strike until their demands are met.
Hundreds of undertakers gathered outside the Jubilee hospital in Temba in Hammaskraal north of Pretoria on Monday to demand talks with government.
They have threatened to stop removing bodies from hospitals and homes if their demands are not met.
The undertakers’ demands include the transformation of the industry and government to directly consult them on decisions that affect them.
Unification Task Team Coordinator Bernett Sibandane says they also want the outsourcing of mortuary facilities to be legalised.
“The funeral industry does not get nothing, a funeral industry is a stepchild of the government, the government feeds everybody else, he will feed the taxi industry and feed all the departments, whatever is left they don’t even consider the funeral industry.”
Sibandane adds: “They’ll rather put that as a reserve, if you listen to all the speeches of the President of this country whilst he knows that we are an important stakeholder in this COVID-19, there is nowhere were he mentions us or even says thank you to us, so there is no allocation for the funeral industry with regard to the COVID-19, we have tried to apply as an individuals and the people that I know all of them rejected.”
SABC Reporter Mahlako Komane speaks to undertakers in Soweto:
In the video below, Director for Environmental Health at the Department of Health, Murdock Ramathuba, responds to the undertaker’s strike: