Let’s talk about #TheFWords: Finance

In the latest article in our #TheFWords series, we explain the costs associated with funerals and why it’s important to plan help ease the financial burden.

funeral costs in south africa

When it comes to the cost of a funeral, South Africa is the fourth most expensive country in the world according to research by SunLife, a UK life insurance provider. Japan ranks as the most expensive, followed by China and then Germany.

Their research puts the average cost of a South African funeral at around R26 875. However, the reality is the cost of a funeral ranges from as little as R3 000 to more than R80 000.

The last thing on your mind should be worrying about how to afford a funeral to give loved ones a dignified send off. Taking out a funeral policy can give you and your family peace of mind that the funeral costs will be covered and you can claim at any time through Capitec’s 24 hour client care centre.


Burial or cremation

A basic coffin can cost around R1 000, while versions with lids that can be opened for viewing start at around R15 000.

Undertakers charge for storage and preparation of the body, as well as processing the paperwork (like obtaining the death certificate), and the use of a hearse. These fees generally start from R4 000.

A cremation can cost between R5 000 and R9 000, and you’ll need to buy an urn, which can cost from R400 to R4 000. You’ll also need a cremation form from a doctor (R600). This is required when a person, whose last wish was to be cremated, has died of natural causes and doesn’t need an autopsy.


Marking the site

For burials, gravesites need to be bought from the municipality (a once-off expense) and cost between R1 500 and R6 000. Marking the site with a simple headstone starts at R1 500, with more extravagant versions running from R7 000 upwards.

Many places of worship offer a sort of Garden of Remembrance where urns of ashes can be placed in a wall and marked by a plaque. While some offer this option free to members of their congregation, others charge a minimal fee of several hundred Rand for the space, as well as engraving and hanging the plaque.


Ceremonial costs

Although many churches don’t charge a fee for hosting a funeral ceremony, some ask for a contribution to cover their costs. Then you’ll need to consider decorations (such as flowers), the designing and printing of programmes and hiring a pianist or organist.

The cost of post-funeral catering – whether at the church or an ‘after tears’ event at another location – will depend on how many people you’re expecting. A cow for the important ceremonial slaughter can cost up to R15 000.


Move to Capitec and get cover from as little as R25

Although the costs of a funeral can and do add up, Capitec offers personalised funeral plans that cover up to 21 dependants on one policy, for costs up to R100 000. When you use the Capitec banking app to apply for a funeral policy, you’ll automatically pay lower premiums.

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