The National Funeral Shutdown group said it resorted to approaching the Presidency directly to highlight their grievances because no government department was interested.

    Carrying coffins, the group marched to the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

    They said there was a lot of red tape in legislation, making it difficult for emerging undertakers to operate.

    Convener Thokozani Dladla said: “We’re probably the only industry in this country that is legislated by multiple departments. The issue is that every time we want to engage the government, we have to go from pillar to post. Now we’re having problems because we’re losing money, resources and time and our industry is not getting to where we want it to be.”

    The group made demands to departments including Home Affairs, Trade and Industry, Transport and Finance.

    They took issue with the fact that industry giants were allowed to assign their employees to register death certificates while emerging funeral parlours were not allowed to do this.

    Dladla said the Department of Health also had some problematic laws.

    “When the government creates legislation and puts ownership [at the centre], automatically they’re excluding black people because black people don’t own anything. When you create legislation and put ownership, they’re excluding black people and that legislation is at the core of the funeral industry because that’s where we are issued the certificate of competence in local government,” Dladla said.

    The group also wanted emerging mortuaries to be recognised by the Department of Trade and Industry and to be considered when budgets were allocated.

    A memorandum was handed over to Vincent Ngcobo, an official in the office of the Presidency.

    Government has  14 days to respond to those demands.

    Source: EWN