Fuel price hikes cost of dying (21-06-07)

The recent fuel price hike has pushed up the cost of transporting corpses from South Africa to Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries.
The pump price of petrol and diesel went up from more than R6.00 to about R7.50 a litre.
It now costs between R20 000 and sometimes R40 000 to tran

sport a corpse across the border to Zimbabwe. At least R15 000 is paid as duty at the border.
Players in the mortuary and corpse transporting industry said their increases would enable their business to remain profitable.
Members of the public argue that the move would make such a service unaffordable and further bite their already stretched salaries.
“Fuel is central to the services that we offer our clients. We should consider that this is the third increase this year, yet our costs have remained the same over that period. We have increased in order to remain profitable,” said an official at a Hillbrow-based leading company that offers mortuary services.
It has emerged that the ever-rising cost of such a service is forcing locally based Zimbabweans and other nationals to send their terminally ill relatives back to their countries to avoid the exorbitant costs in the event that death strikes.
Others have pooled together their resources and formed burial clubs so that such an event would not catch them flatfooted.
“This is a huge setback. It seems the cost of dying is fast catching up with the cost of living. We Zimbabweans have received the harshest blow since burial space is running out fast back home. The recent costs are highly unaffordable,’ said Ray Nkomo, a Zimbabwean national living in Berea, east of Johannesburg. – CAJ News

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