Is Cremation a High Funeral Cost?

At a time when families are experiencing stress at the death of a loved one, they are facing the pressure of another kind – covering the costs of a funeral. So is cremation a sensible route to go?

The rising cost of death and the cultural and social pressure for stylish funerals are pushing many people into debt.

Religion and culture are most often the deciding factors when making decisions about how to dispose of bodies.

There are many debates for and against a cremation or burial.

So what is Cremation All About? Find out the Facts

The South African government is trying to influence people to opt for cremation as opposed to burial.

The reason for this is that even in 2004 there was already a shortage of land near towns to be used for burial purposes. Most South Africans won’t cremate because of their beliefs and culture.

However, times are changing, and people in South Africa need to know how cremation works.

Does it require funeral caskets? How does incineration work and what does it cost? How does cremation compare to a regular burial? And what about the ashes and the practice of scattering the remains?

Apart from Cultural beliefs, Cost is a Big Factor in Deciding on Cremation

The average funeral in South Africa costs in the region of R12 000 currently, but cremations can start at about R8 000. It isn’t possible to say accurately what the average costs are for funerals and cremations. That is because people opt to have funerals and cremations customised to their special requirements

Funerals can Cremationinclude rented tents and gazebos, rented cars, catered refreshments and top-of-the range-coffins. The cost of grave fees is usually higher than crematorium fees because there is also the tombstone to consider. Funerals are getting more expensive, so cremation is becoming more popular. Another reason people are turning to cremation in South Africa is that vandals often destroy graves or the graveyard becomes neglected.

The Process of a Crematorium

Cremation is the process where the body experiences extreme heat for a couple of hours or more. The corpse goes into a funeral casket which is made of combustible material so that the container burns down quickly. The body is then also reduced to ashes.

Many people who cremate their loved ones do buy funerary urns. These urns are containers which will contain the remains of the deceased. Nobody has to buy a jar as the ashes go into a transparent plastic container by the crematorium.

How Funeral Services Work and the Role of a Funeral Director

There are different types of funeral services for traditional funerals or a cremation. Funeral directors perform a host of services, sparing you the trouble of obtaining the death notice from the medical attendants and the frustration of registering the death at Home Affairs.

One needs to attend to many issues and having the best funeral insurance in place will ensure that you get assistance with these legal aspects.

A cremation with a service will often include elements similar to a traditional funeral. Instead of a casketed body, however,  the ashes are the primary focus at a memorial service.

Comparison shopping for the best services will ensure you know what you are doing when preparing to cremate or bury. Planning ahead will help you make the right decisions regarding funeral arrangements and the different services you can expect on the day.


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All info was correct at time of publishing