South Africa: Home Affairs Secures Interdict Against UTT

The Department of Home Affairs has secured a court interdict, which prohibits members of the Unification Task Team (UTT) from intimidating staff and people visiting Home Affairs offices.

The interdict also prohibits UTT from damaging any Home Affairs property. It was served on Tuesday.

"The interdict forms part of the contingency plan of the department to ensure that people who need Home Affairs services are not inconvenienced," the department said on Wednesday.

The department said it has regular lines of communication with the UTT and the lines of communication remain open.

"They have used these lines of communication to raise issues of concern to them. Some of the issues they have raised with us fall under the mandate of the Department of Health and local municipalities.

"In the regular engagements with the UTT, the department has indicated the need to consult the Department of Health and the local municipalities through the SA Local Government Association (SALGA). The consultations between the Departments of Home Affairs and Health and SALGA on the issues raised by UTT are taking place," the department said.

Two outcomes of these engagements, was an agreement to grant provisional designation for funeral parlours or undertakers to temporarily conduct business relating to Home Affairs registration of deaths.

As part of this agreement, applications to be designated funeral undertakers are required to comply with the following:

Proof of storage lease agreement as certification of the business relationship for processing or keeping and cold storage of the deceased with a facility issued with the Certificate of Competence

A Certificate of Competence of the person (lessor) leasing the premises or part thereof, taking into account that the lessor may only lease premises or part of the premises with a valid Certificate of Competence.

"The second decision was to grant this permission to those not yet designated to apply for provisional designation for a period of 12 months while the three State entities find a lasting solution to the issues raised by the UTT, especially those relating to regulations," the department said.

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