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Can you afford to die? The cost of funerals in South Africa

A Google search on the average funeral costs in South Africa will quickly reveal that prices range from R3000 to R50 000.

As is evident, for funerals, the costs in South Africa can vary quite drastically. The reason for this is because there are many variables to consider. Some of these variables include:

  • Type of funeral (cremation, grave burial, and the latest to hit South Africa- aquamation)
  • Religious and cultural customs
  • Number of people attending 
  • Catering costs 
  • Décor such as flowers
  • Funeral pamphlets (programmes) - printing in colour or black and white
  • What the deceased would have wanted 

Three popular funeral companies and their basic (cheapest) funeral packages in South Africa

Avbob funeral costs

With Avbob’s funeral services you can expect to pay a similar fee for both a grave burial and a cremation service. 

For a basic grave burial or cremation service, it could cost you between R18 500 to R22 000.

Avbob’s unattended cremation service (without a funeral service) costs range between
R13 000 - R15 000. 

Doves funeral costs

Grave burial funeral costs will also be dependent on when the person is buried. This is because there are different grave costs during the week and over the weekend, with the weekend having the higher cost. 

Grave costs during the week could set you back by around R3000, while grave costs over the weekend could set you back by around R3600. 

Doves grave burial costs

Excluding the grave costs, a basic Doves burial funeral could cost you around R24 000. 

Doves cremation costs

A basic cremation service, where Doves does the cremation and gives the family the ashes directly, could cost you around R25 000. This includes fetching the loved one, getting the various doctors letters, taking the body to the crematorium and delivering the ashes to the family. 

Fern funerals

Fern funerals grave burial costs

It could cost you around R7500 for a grave burial from Fern Funerals. 

Fern funerals cremation costs

Expect to pay around R8500 for a cremation with Fern Funerals. 

Funeral cover to pay for funeral costs

The undertaker fees—fees charged by funeral homes or funeral parlours like the examples above— can prove to be expensive. Because of this, many South Africans opt to take out funeral cover.

With funeral cover, you pay a small monthly premium for yourself and your loved ones. The idea is that, should one of your insured family member’s pass away, you can focus on what is genuinely important. Not the money spent on the funeral, but rather, mourning and celebrating the memory of your loved one.

You definitely shouldn’t have to worry about where you’re going to get the funds to cover funeral costs. 

Things to look out for when choosing funeral cover

With an abundance of options out there, before taking out funeral cover, make sure you are considering the following:

  • Your monthly premium vs how much cover you’re actually getting. 
    • Some companies may lure you in with a low monthly premium, but what is the amount that you will be covered for? And, more importantly, is that amount realistic for all the funeral expenses?
  • Some companies may lure you in with a small monthly premium, but have so much red tape that you won’t easily be able to access your funds when you really need it. 

Estate Planning Preparation

With Meerkat’s funeral cover you get:

  • To focus on living instead of worrying about the rising cost of living and rising funeral cover costs. The reason?
    • Certainty of the premium amount. This means that our monthly premiums do not increase.

*Please note that clients who signed up for Freedom Life funeral cover are subject to premium increases

  • You don’t have to worry about whether you, or your insured family members, will have enough money for a dignified funeral.
  • The opportunity to give your loved ones the funeral they deserve without having to wait during a long payout claims process. 
    • Valid funeral claims will be paid out within 48 hours
  • Peace of mind so that you don’t have to bear the brunt of fraudulent claims. 
    • Other people committing fraud should not cost you. At Meerkat, we have strong fraudulent management systems in place to quickly identify fraud, so that you don’t have to pay the price with your monthly premium.

With Meerkat, you can have funeral cover that doesn’t interfere with your way of living AND gives you, and your insured loved ones, a dignified death. 

Focus on what matters most - your loved ones. We’ll cover the rest. 

Take our Funeral Cover quiz! 

Get a free, non-committal, quote for comprehensive funeral cover in seconds. Get your free quote now. 


Our Funeral Plan is underwritten by Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer Limited, a member of the Old Mutual Group. 


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