Repatriating a Body to Zimbabwe
The grim reality is that someone somewhere has to fork up and pay for your demise. That is true wherever you are at the time of your death. If it is in another country, you can be looking at soaring costs surrounding the repatriating the body. And, of course, other factors come into play as well.
The cost of moving mortal remains, or repatriating them, depends on factors such as the location of death and transport. Paperwork requirements, mortuary charges and sometimes embalming fees will vary hugely from country to country. Many foreigners living in South Africa. And South Africa deports many undocumented Zimbabweans each month. And yet many are prepared to risk returning to better fortunes in countries such as Botswana and South Africa.
Repatriating the Body back to Zimbabwe
For many Zimbabweans in search of greener pastures in South Africa, life ends in tragedy. They leave families with debt to pay off and the cost of repatriating the person back to Zimbabwe for burial. A family will need to find about R10 000 to R20 000 towards repatriating a body, depending on the undertaker.
Funeral parlous are lucrative businesses these days. Hordes of Zimbabweans fleeing that country in search of a golden lifestyle in South Africa. So repatriation of bodies is a leading source of income for funeral directors.
You will find some funeral services which are headquartered in Zimbabwe. But they operate satellite offices in Johannesburg so as to cater for their Zimbabwean clients. They cater for the thousands of Zimbabweans who have fled their country’s economic crisis and who die here in SA.
Without any plans in place, relatives of the deceased face a host of difficulties repatriating their bodies to Zimbabwe and many resort to illegal means.
Burial Societies Return the Deceased to their Country
Many Zimbabweans living in South Africa have now started their burial societies, an and they ask their members for a sum of about R200 a yea additional R70 for when another member dies. When the primary member dies, the burial society will cover the fee of about R14,000 which includes repatriation to Zimbabwe and a decent funeral. Members are divided into groups, and if someone dies in your group, you are required to join your group who accompany the body home in a mini-bus hired by the undertaker. Back home, they assist the deceased’s family with funeral preparations, attend the funeral and then return to Johannesburg.
You’re a Burden to Your Family without a Funeral Plan
If you don’t have a funeral plan in place or you don’t belong to a burial society, you’ll be a burden to your family, and membership has financial benefits for your family. The parlours also process all the required documents, covering all the costs of burying the returning bodies.
Funeral plans cater for all types of people – low-income people to the rich. Kings and Queens Funeral Parlour was formed in South Africa in 2004, and they charge approximately R10 000 for repatriating a corpse across the border. They process the documentation to bring the body to Zimbabwe and provide the family with a Toyota Quantum minibus to transport the mourners. If there are additional needs, they simply put in an extra charge.
You Owe it to Your Family to be Prepared for Death
The number of Zimbabweans dying in South Africa is very high. Those who have had to face the costs of repatriation now believe that with costs steadily increasing, every responsible person owes it to their family to take out a funeral plan or belong to a burial society.