Arrange transport of the deceased


Most funeral parlours include the cost of a hearse as part of their fee. It’s best to confirm this, so there are no surprise expenses.

If the deceased’s body needs to be transported across a border, prepare to pay around R10,000.

Passing away in another country

Repatriation is when the deceased’s body is transported from one country to another.

  1. Planning for the repatriation:

    Your undertaker, Department of Home Affairs, or the chosen funeral service in the country where the deceased passed away, would help with the following:

    • Arranging the return of the deceased’s body to South Africa;
    • Obtaining the relevant import permits from the Department of Health;
    • Arranging for the ashes to be returned to South Africa if you would prefer the body to be cremated;
    • Arrange if you would like a local burial in the specific country where the deceased passed away;
    • Arranging a pauper’s burial, which is free of any charges if a next of kin cannot be traced or they do not have the financial means to repatriate the body.
  2. Get quotes:
    Try to get quotes from different funeral parlours (from both countries) so you can compare prices. — Costs can increase because it involves compulsory embalming of the body, as well as permissions and certifications from medical and governmental parties.

    • If the deceased is travelling by air, then the costs will increase significantly.
    • Try to find out if the deceased had travel insurance, and to then notify the insurer to see what cover options are available.
  3. Government assistance:
    The Department of Home Affairs may provide certain logistical assistance and advice in the event of the death of a South African citizen abroad.

    • Please note that the South African Government does not render any financial assistance pertaining to the death of South African citizens out of the country.

* Costs are estimate figures for planning purposes only