South Africa’s funeral practitioners are expected to go on a strike from today.
More than 3000 Mortuary employees are set to embark on a Three days strike from Monday until Wednesday. The strike is planned by Unification Task Team which caters for more than 70 associations however the National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa says it will not be part of the tools down proceedings.
The strike is over better pay and good working conditions. In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic the industry has been experiencing a demand in funeral services seeing that the Covid-19 death toll is currently standing at more than 15,000 fatalities.
Previously natural death would under go no Covid-19 testing but that has since changed. Mortuaries now have to wait for Covid-19 results of the deceased before proceedings. In the meantime all bodies have to be treated as Covid-19 bodies.
Burials have to be done 3 days after death if not the number of bodies will pile up subsequently increases pressure on mortuaries. This however requires more work force.
The strike will significantly affect the movement of bodies from homes to mortuary and from hospitals to Morgues. Bodies already in Mortuary will not be affected.
The Health ministry raised few concerns over the strike. In a released media statement the Ministry said this might cause health issues including the spread of communicable diseases due to poor management of Human remains.
The Funeral practitioners are complaining over the fact that the Government does not recognise them when rendering State funerals. Such big tenders are awarded to big funeral companies instead of allowing family members to choose their own preferred Funeral parlours. The funeral service providers want to be outsourced with regards to storage facilities.