A group of approximately 100 undertakers made their way to the Cape Town Home Affairs office, and also gathered in the N2 between Borchards Quarry and Airport Approach Road, in protest on Wednesday, September 16.
According to City of Cape Town Traffic spokesperson Richard Coleman, South African Police Service (SAPS) officers, as well as City traffic officers, were on scene.
“The convoy has stopped on the N2 incoming at Airport approach. The N2 is closed. The funeral undertakers are protesting with coffins in the roadway. All services on scene. The N2 is reopened the protesters are on the left shoulder,” Coleman said on Wednesday morning.
Burial #undertakers are protesting outside the Department of Home Affairs in the #CapeTown CBD over slow process of documents and frustrations over inadequate working conditions. @timeslive @HomeAffairsSA #UndertakersStrike @COVID_19_ZA @CapeTown #LockdownSA pic.twitter.com/rMm3kWGzal
— Esa Alexander (@ezaap) September 16, 2020
This protest forms part of a promise made by the funeral sector to keep pressure on government despite the last day of their three-day strike being Wednesday. Undertakers have been on strike since Monday, September 14.
Funeral practitioners are fighting to have outsourcing of mortuary facilities legally recognised. They are calling for the tender system to be abolished to allow families to appoint their own service provider, and for the application of a rotation database if there are no families to select a service provider.
The strike has meant that there are temporarily no undertaker services at hospitals, and bodies have not been collected at both governmental and private mortuaries. Families have also been forced to postpone funerals as a result of the strike.