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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:29 - Updated Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:25

'There's nothing we can do,' striking South African undertakers tell bereaved

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Grieving South African families are being left searching for someone to collect the bodies of deceased relatives after funeral parlors like Hloni Swarts’ went on strike in a country with one of the world’s highest coronavirus rates.

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Swarts, owner of Hloni Funerals, told Reuters he had to tell distressed families, “there’s nothing we can do”, as the three-day strike entered its second day. He tried to help them arrange for a stretched government service to collect bodies instead, but they still complained.

Funeral workers are striking in the country over changes to a host of procedures and regulations, including some introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, that they say make it hard for small, black-owned parlors to operate and give big players an advantage.

They want a COVID-19 relief fund to help the industry cope with the pandemic.

Tags África do Sul  

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