How much does a funeral cost?

How much does a funeral cost?

Last updated on 13th December, 2017 at 10:07 am

The cost of an unexpected funeral will add to the family’s grief. Better to be fully informed of what a final farewell to a loved one can cost and make provision.

It seems inappropriate to ask about pricing details when you are about to greet a loved one for the last time, and your first instinct is to give them the best farewell possible. It is indeed no easy task to think hard cash when overcome by emotion and heartache. Nevertheless, this is a time for realistic thinking and staying within budget. The cost of a funeral depends on the type of funeral and on the requirements the deceased specified in his/her last Will and testament, as well as on the type of coffin or urn, cremation fees, religious ceremonies and the undertaker services used. Cremation is usually considerably less expensive. Other aspects that will affect the cost of a funeral are the price of a burial plot, flowers, food, a headstone, a graveside tent, programmes for the service, preparation and storage of the body, a funeral notice in the newspaper, registration of death and travel costs. It can all add up to a large amount quite quickly. The family income plays a decisive role in the process. Sanlam’s ‘South African Funeral Landscape Research: the cost of a funeral 2015’ states some interesting facts:

  • Entry-level market funerals: Family income in this group ranges from R3 000 to R10 000 per month, with the cost of a funeral starting from R6 000 upwards.
  • Middle-income group: Funeral costs for this group range between R12 000 and R50 000.
  • High-income group: On the other end of the spectrum, a funeral in a private cemetery like Fourways Memorial Park in Gauteng, can cost on average R40 000, but may be much higher in certain cases. For instance, the funeral of Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere cost over R500 000, and that of Senzo Meyiwa, Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, a full R3-million.

Cremations cost around R5 000, which includes collecting the ashes from the crematorium, but excludes costs like flowers and food. Scattering the ashes of your loved one can add considerably to the cost, with Wiesenhof Legacy Park in Stellenbosch asking R6 000. Taking into account the costs, taking out funeral cover may be the best way to ensure your loved ones have a dignified funeral without worrying about how you will pay for the expenses.


By Helen Ueckermann

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