South Africa's Home Affairs Department (DHA) has secured a court interdict against members of the Unification Task Team (UTT), mostly undertakers and funeral parlour owners, whose planned industrial action had threatened to affect the repatriation of bodies to other countries, including Zimbabwe.
An average of 100 bodies are repatriated to Zimbabwe from South Africa for burial every week and the planned UTT strike would have seriously affected this activity, much to the inconvenience of locals.
On average 100 bodies are repatriated from South Africa for burial in Zimbabwe per week.
The undertakers want the DHA to derive annual provincial schedules for the writing of designation number examinations.
They are also demanding that the institution delinks the certificate of competence from the designation number examination requirements, and to allow funeral directors to appoint proxies to conduct some of the duties on their behalf.
In a statement yesterday, the Department of Home Affairs said the court interdict prohibits the UTT from intimidating its staff and people visiting its offices.
"The interdict also prohibits UTT from damaging any Home Affairs property and it forms part of the contingency plan of the department to ensure that people who need Home Affairs services are not inconvenienced.
The interdict was served on UTT yesterday," said the DHA.
"We have regular lines of communication with the UTT. 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."