S. African health department concerned over planned strike by funeral undertakers

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 14, 2020
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JOHANNESBURG, Sept.14 (Xinhua) -- South African National Department of Health on Monday said plans by thousands of funeral undertakers to go on a strike this week may have serious public health consequences.

"This is very concerning as this action may lead to undesired conditions and risks to public health," health department spokesman Popo Maja said.

This comes after undertakers said they would be embarking on a national shut-down from Monday to Wednesday over working conditions in the sector. The undertakers vowed that they would not be collecting bodies from hospitals and homes.

"The department is aware that a group of funeralists are planning to shut down the collection of human remains from private and public health facilities," Maja said.

He said members of the public should report any "illegal operations to ensure the public can be protected from potential risks and the spread of communicable diseases as a result of poor management of human remains."

He said the department commenced negotiations with the sector but they haven't yielded results yet.

The department said all funeral undertakers and mortuary premises used to prepare, store, and preserve human remains must be in possession of a valid certificate of competence issued by the relevant local authority. It would take legal actions against those that refuse to comply with the regulations.

"Environmental Health Practitioners are and will continue to conduct inspections in all funeral undertakers' premises in the country to check compliance to the regulations," Maja said. Enditem

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