Average Funeral Costs in South Africa

Facing the Inevitable: Cutting the Costs of Goodbyes in South Africa (2024)

Death is unavoidable. Saying goodbye to a loved one is hard but it shouldn’t be expensive. Here's your guide to navigating funeral expenses in South Africa:


Why Funeral Planning isn't Just for the Old-Timers 

You like to prepare for your future, but it's time you did that with death in mind. Your funeral is your last send-off and it shouldn’t leave your loved ones in debt. You can avoid the added stress on your family with affordable funeral cover created just for you.  


Options for Funeral Planning

Funeral insurance: Think of funeral insurance as an investment into your send-off. We want to make it as smooth as possible for your loved ones who will remain behind. Choose your funeral policy and always remember to hippo it for the best possible price. 

Burial societies: Old school, but still very much in the game. It's like a financial support group for funerals.

Life insurance: Some life policies come with funeral benefits to help pay for a dignified funeral. 

Savings & investments: Directly setting aside a little treasure for a cherished farewell. 


So, What's the Damage for a Decent South African Send-Off? 

The cost of a funeral can easily creep up during the funeral planning stage. The average cost of a South African funeral ranges from R3,000 – R50,000.  Lower income South African households spend a range of R3,000 to R10,000 on a funeral while the middle class spend up to R50,000.

Basic Funeral Costs for South Africans 

Below is everything you need to plan a funeral. Comprehensive funeral cover often helps with funeral packages 

  • Casket or coffin: Entry-level coffins start at around R450 while the more expensive coffins go all the way up to R50,000. 

  • Burial plot: These range from R1,500 to R6,000 depending on the plot. Grave costs differ per province. Costs are higher for a private cemetery for the same piece of land.  

  • Tombstone: A simple headstone costs R1,500 while more elaborate tombstones go over R7,000.  

  • Basic undertaker fees: Funeral homes charge for services like body storage, death certificate processing, and use of the hearse. These fees start at around R4,000. 

Burial vs Cremation 

You may choose to go the cremation route which is lighter on the pocket than burial.  

  • Cremation fees: Cremation costs an average of R7,000 in South Africa with private cremation around R5,000, while chapel cremation starts at R9,000. A cremation doctor charges a separate fee apart from the death certificate. 

Added Costs 

At this point it may sound like everything is covered. That couldn’t be further from the truth as there is still transportation, venue, and flowers.  

  • Transport: The use of a hearse is part of the undertaking fees in South African funerals. There are additional costs if the body needs to cross the border, and these are around R15,000 depending on the destination country.  

  • Funeral venue & tent hire: Venue and tent hire for a funeral service are as low as R750 and as high as R10,000. This really depends on whether it’s a basic or extravagant funeral. When you choose to have a church ceremony you would have to clarify with the church regarding any costs in advance.  

  • Flowers: These can range from R100 to R5,000, depending on the arrangements chosen. 

Who's Picking up the Tab? 

If you've been rolling without insurance, your loved ones will likely have to pay. But you can make sure your family's tears aren’t from financial stress. Just easily compare your funeral cover options at hippo.co.za for your funeral plan.

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Other Factors That Can Add to the Cost of Funerals 

In our South African context, which is rich with culture and tradition, there are a few other things that can up the costs of a funeral. These include: 

  • Location and cuisine: Your roots matter and sometimes your roots expect specific funeral preparations. These include being buried in a specific province or area where you’ll be closer to your ancestors. Some South African families choose to slaughter a whole cow for the community for their loved one’s funeral.

  • Attendance: More people means more refreshments. A lot of funerals in the remote villages and townships of South Africa do not have a guest list. Anyone and everyone comes and expects to be fed, which means more money will likely be spent.  

The Role of Funeral Insurance 

A funeral insurance policy ensures your family isn't overwhelmed with costs—and does so at an affordable price.  


Picking the Perfect Funeral Cover 

Compare options at Hippo.co.za for an easy, fast, and free experience. Just fill in the form and you'll get quotes from leading funeral insurance providers. More than 10 million South Africans trust hippo, and you can too! We’re here to help you get the best deal for you! Start now and be the hero who looks after your loved ones, even in the afterlife. 


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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