Bodies pile up in Gauteng mortuaries as strike continues
Johannesburg - The ongoing strike by workers across mortuaries in Gauteng has put the brakes on the release of postmortem results and burials.
Diepkloof mortuary in Soweto was the worst affected, said Democratic Alliance (DA) health spokesperson Jack Bloom on Wednesday.
"Families are suffering extreme distress by the delay in releasing the bodies of their loved ones for burial. Diepkloof mortuary is the worst affected," Bloom said in a statement.
"We cannot have a situation where bodies pile up in mortuaries, causing further anguish to bereaved families."
Forensic pathology assistants in the province downed tools over salaries and working conditions.
Angry protesters gathered outside the Diepkloof facility on Friday, demanding that the provincial health department accede to their demands.
A subsequent meeting with Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa failed to end the impasse. Bloom said Ramokgopa needed to act swiftly.
"The Gauteng Health Department got a court order in December last year to stop another mortuary strike, and should do this now as well. Speedy efforts should be made to address genuine grievances by forensic pathology officers, but any violence should be condemned and halted."
The department said talks to end the strike were continuing this week.
African News Agency