Bereaved families deserve dignified services from participants in the funeral industry in South Africa. FIRA developed a proposed Funeral Industry Code of Conduct as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism between consumers, Government, and participants in the industry, applicable to participants within the funeral industry in terms of section 2.3.2, as published in the government gazette on 2 September 2016, for input and public comment. See http://www.gov.za/files/40243 and as defined within the Consumer Protection Act, Act 68 of 2008, please refer to http://www.thenct.org.za/NCTDocs/founding-legislation/f8d6f6aa-994d-4305-b3d0-ea056416bbd0.pdf
Thus the establishment of an Independent Professional Association, FIRA, for the PUBLIC and all various categories of membership as set out in the FIRA Membership Policy, to apply, contribute and become active members of the Association to fully enjoy the benefits of assistance, awareness, guidance, access to a network of service providers, alternative dispute resolution, amongst others, offered by FIRA.
Consumers of goods and services within the funeral industry have a right to legitimate and excellent customer service. Fair pricing, decent service, providing adequate information, thus enabling consumers to make informed decisions, and humane treatment remain the cornerstones for excellent customer service. FIRA has opted to establish a Independent Professional Association as a result of delays by the national consumer commission (NCC), and industry participants, to provide an alternative code as presented by FIRA, thus delaying assistance and a free service to Consumers, to protect the public.
All complaints received by from active members of FIRA, in the form of the prescribed FIRA Complaint Initiation Form, would be investigated internally to protect both public and industry, and all complaints would be submitted to the relevant authorities. FIRA would keep track of any complaints received and would keep public and industry informed of the process, decision and outcome of complaints referred. FIRA offer an alternative dispute resolution as part of the membership benefits at a monthly membership fee to be determined by the FIRA executive board to all categories of membership offered by FIRA. FIRA believes that through excellent customer service, education and protection of the public and industry alike, all stake holders will be protected. FIRA would encourage Government to take responsibility to enforce its legal obligation in terms of the South African Constitution and to maintain strict compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and as defined within the proposed FIRA Industry Code of Conduct, participants within the funeral industry are assured of business sustainability and good reputation in the communities they serve, through affiliation to FIRA.