Cost of Repatriation of Body from South Africa to Zimbabwe

Many young Zimbabweans looking for greener pastures come to South Africa to find their piece of sunshine. Johannesburg, the city of gold, twinkles dazzlingly and enticingly – it’s a strong temptation and in most times ends with dead dreams. The city tempts many with lures of plenty of money to go around, flashy cars and a luxurious lifestyle. With so many locals and foreigners fighting over accommodation and jobs, many Zimbabweans end up dying. The cost of Repatriation of Body can be high.

The Stark Reality – The Cost of Repatriation of Body

Zimbabweans arrive in Johannesburg and rake up debts which are expected to be paid back. Take for instance the young Zimbabwean, whom we’ll  call Mbongeni – he was found outside his flat in Yeoville, dead.

Cost of Repatriation of BodyThe security guard of the flats thought that maybe it was because Mbongeni had been out drinking with friends and had passed out before he could even get into his flat. That was unfortunately not the case. Mbongeni had died from internal bleeding, caused by a severe assault.

As a Zimbabwean national, he had been living in South Africa for the past five years. Because he owed money and had failed to pay up, his young life had been cut short in an assault which would ‘teach him a lesson’.

Transportation – the High Costs of Repatriation of Body

So his family back in Zimbabwe needed to find the money to transport him back to his country of birth to give him a burial. Unfortunately, the cost of carrying a dead body back to Zimbabwe from South African can cost a lot of money. It can be anything from R10 000 to R20 000. That will depend on the Undertaker.

The funeral industry is lucrative – more so as more and more Zimbabweans come to South Africa, adding to the stressful, highly over-populated conditions. Locals often won’t stand for this, and the lives of many Zimbabweans are out.

A Steady Flow of Dead Bodies across the Border

Kings and Queens Real Funeral Services have its headquarters in Zimbabwe. They also have a satellite office in Johannesburg to take care of the funeral needs of their many Zimbabwean clients. They will charge R10 000 to transport a dead body across the border.

Special Extras to Beat the Competition – Cost of Repatriation of Body

There are rival funeral companies who will offer special extras to make their package appear more attractive. These extras can be the purchase of groceries for the grieving family or the offer of grave-digging services in Zimbabwe.

Funeral Societies Spring Up

Because costs can get high, many Zimbabweans who live in South Africa have started to build up their burial societies. So these communities will recognise Zimbabweans who have come to live in South African and encouraged them to join the burial society.

A joining fee is around R1000 with a monthly subscription of around R50. When a member of the community passes away, the family of the gets a single pay-out.


Many Zimbabweans are dying in South Africa. With more than 3 million living in South Africa, the cost of repatriating a body from South Africa to Zimbabwe is a huge, profitable business.

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All info was correct at time of publishing