Country Of Origin:

South Africa

South Africans worldwide the bespoke Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan cover is for YOU!

We now live in an era of transnationalism wherein as transnational citizens we are essentially global villagers who belong to more than one society. When it comes to your global family protection needs you need flexible and versatile risk management solutions. Talk of worldwide protection without boards, we got you covered. At Diaspora Insurance we specialise in crafting bespoke risk solutions to make sure that you can cover not just yourself in the diaspora but also your loved ones in your native country if you wish.

Whether you are South Africans by descent, registry, birth, marriage you name it the Diaspora Insurance is for You even if you have naturalised by taking other citizenship.

About South Africa

Demographics / Population: South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people.  It is a multi-ethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions.

Economy: It has been classified by the World Bank as a newly industrialised country, with the second-largest economy in Africa, and the 33rd-largest in the world.

, South Africa

South Africa News

PICTURES: Explosion of colour and culture at King Mzilikazi Day celebrations in UK
September 27, 2023
By Diaspora Insurance News UK: This year’s annual King Mzilikazi Day celebrations returned to the Staffordshire village of Wheaton Aston with dozens of people turning up for the event which was supported by Diaspora Insurance. Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Felix Ndiweni was the guest of honour and addressed the colourful gathering at the Wheaton Aston Recreation Ground.
More South Africa News

South Africans in Diaspora

About South Africa

Why South Africans Relocate to the Diaspora

Residents of South Africa – the primary destination country within the region – who are considering migration, are far more likely to be looking outside the continent (69% say Europe, North America, or some other non-African destination), as are potential emigrants in Mauritius (87%) and Madagascar (76%).

Potential emigrants themselves confirm the common notion that it’s the search for greener pastures that motivates most of those who want to move abroad. On average across 34 countries, three-fourths of potential emigrants say the most important reason they would consider leaving is to search for work (44%) or to escape poverty or economic hardship (29%).

Another 4% would leave in search of better business prospects, and 2% each would go elsewhere in search of more democracy or protection of their political and religious freedoms, or to seek personal security (i.e. avoid crime or civil conflict).

Pursuing their education abroad draws 6%, while 5% cite the lure of travel, tourism, or adventure, and 3% would go to either join family members already living outside the country or to accompany family members who are leaving (for unspecified reasons).

The top five reasons South Africans gave for wanting to emigrate include:

  • Finding work – 40%
  • Poverty/hardship – 17%
  • Peace/security – 8%
  • Travel/tourism – 7%
  • Business prospects – 6%

Body Repatriation for South Africans in the Diaspora

The department of International Relations and Cooperation in collaboration with its Representatives abroad, may provide logistical assistance and advice to the next of kin in the event of the death of a South African citizen abroad.

The assistance includes:

  • obtaining a permit for importing mortal remains from the Department of Health
  • placing family members into contact with reputable undertakers, and
  • obtaining quotes for the transportation of the mortal remains and/or cremation and/or local burial, if so requested by the next of kin.
  • providing information on local conditions and procedures affecting the deceased. It should be borne in mind that the manner in which someone dies can affect how the local authorities handle the case.

In the event the deceased had travel insurance, it is recommended that the insurer be contacted first to establish whether the deceased is covered in case of death.

The South African Government does not render any financial assistance pertaining to the death of South African citizens abroad. The financial transaction for the importation of mortal remains, local burial or cremation and return of the ashes may only be done via a commercial institution such as a bank. The money must be transferred directly to the undertaker in the country concerned.

What are the options for the next of kin of a deceased South African?

It is a shock to receive the news of the death of a loved one and usually the first thought of the next of kin is to bring the mortal remains back to South Africa.

However, the following options can be considered:

(a) The return of mortal remains to South Africa
(b) Cremation and return of the ashes to South Africa
(c) Local Burial
(d) Pauper’s burial (free of any charges)

The South African Representative will assist with obtaining quotes to enable the next of kin to make an informed decision.

If using an undertaker, it is important to note that the rendering of services is subject to payment.

Practice differs from country to country and this will influence the process. The South African Representative or the Department will provide guidance.

Return of mortal remains to South Africa

When a body is returned there are strict conditions for its transportation. The preparation of the mortal remains and the transport costs make this the most expensive option.

Before making any decision in this regard, unless covered by travel insurance, the next of kin must get quotes from undertakers in the foreign country. The South African Representative can assist.

The requirements for the transportation of mortal remains are:

  • Non-infectious mortal remains:
    • The body must be embalmed. This must take place within 24 hours. Not all countries have embalming facilities;
    • The body must be sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin;
    • The import permit must be obtained prior to transportation.
  • Infectious mortal remains:
    • The body must be placed in a polythene bag;
    • The body must be placed in a second polythene bag;
    • The body must then be sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin;
    • Under no circumstances may the coffin be opened;
    • A written statement from the medical practitioner that the body will not constitute a danger to public health and that the body is screened off according to regulation o R2438 of 30 October 1987, paragraphs 9 and 10 (Conveyance of bodies of persons who have died of communicable diseases) must accompany the body at all times, together with the death certificate;
    • The import permit must be obtained prior to transportation.

The South African Representative must provide the following documentation to the Department of Health before an import permit can be issued:

  • A letter containing the name of the deceased; date of death; country of death; cause of death; place of burial; telephone/fax numbers and area code.
  • Embalming certificate (if not possible due to religious reasons this must be stated);
  • Letter from attending pathologist or medical doctor to state that the deceased did not suffer from an infectious disease at the time of death; OR
  • If the deceased did suffer from an infectious disease, a letter from the medical practitioner indicating that the transportation will not constitute a danger to public health.
  • All documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

When all the requirements are met the Department of Health issues an Import Permit which accompanies the mortal remains to South Africa.

Cremation and return of the ashes to South Africa

The next of kin can opt for a cremation and the return of the ashes. The undertaker in the foreign country can render this service.

Ashes are dealt with according to the local custom in the foreign country. No importation permit is needed to return ashes to South Africa.

South Africa Diaspora Population

According to Wikipedia, there are about +/-953,000 South Africans that are living in the diaspora. They are spread across the following countries:

  • Britain/ UK- 255,000
  • Australia- 189,000
  • United States of America- 81,000
  • New Zealand- 67,700
  • Canada- 41,375

The rest are distributed across other European, African and Asian Countries.

The South African diaspora consists of South African emigrants and their descendants living outside South Africa. The largest concentrations of South African emigrants are to be found in the United Kingdom, followed by Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Canada

According to the most recent data compiled by Statistics South Africa, between 2006 and 2016 the most popular overseas destinations for South African émigrés were:

1. Australia (26.0%),

2. United Kingdom (25.0%),

3. United States (13.4%),

4. New Zealand (9.5%),

5. Germany (6.0%),

6. American Samoa (United States territory) (4.4%),

7. United Arab Emirates (4.2%),

8. Cuba (4.0%),

9. Canada (3.0%), and

10. China (2.0%).

According to Statistics South Africa, the South African Population is currently at +/- 55.7 million. As stated above, around 953,000 South Africans are in the diaspora making it 2% of the documented population living abroad. According to Wikipedia, over majority of the South Africans in the diaspora are scattered across Europe.

South Africa Diaspora Remittances

According to AZIMO, a registered money transfer company, South Africans send home $900m (R13.5Billion) every year in remittances.

Of this money, approximately $250m is sent from the UK, $120m from USA, $60m from New Zealand and $50m from Canada.

How Funds Are Remitted to South Africa

Channels used by most Ghanaians to send money back home to friends and relatives:

  1. World Remit
  2. XOOM (A PayPal Service)
  3. Currencydirect
  4. Moneygram
  5. Mukuru
  6. Western Union
  7. Remitly

Reasons for sending remittances to South Africa

AZIMO claims that their clients send money back to South Africa primarily to support their families- especially aging parents, build houses and to start businesses back home.

80% of remittances sent to South Africa are done via Bank and 20% are collected in cash, according to the Financial Institution

South Africa Connectivity

South Africa is considered one of the leaders in Technology in Africa. This can be proven by the rate of internet use in the country as well as social media connectivity of South African nationals globally. Just like any other African country, connecting with the diaspora is widely made possible through the use of Internet and applications supported by the internet i.e. WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Zoom etc.

Below are the statistics on the internet users in South Africa and how widely spread South Africans are over the internet and on Social Media.

Internet users in South Africa

  • There were 38.19 million internet users in South Africa in January 2021. 
  • The number of internet users in South Africa increased by 1.7 million (+4.5%) between 2020 and 2021.
  • Internet penetration in South Africa stood at 64.0% in January 2021.

Social Media Statistics for South Africa

  • There were 25.00 million social media users in South Africa in January 2021. 
  • The number of social media users in South Africa increased by 3.0 million (+14%) between 2020 and 2021.
  • The number of social media users in South Africa was equivalent to 41.9% of the total population in January 2021.

Mobile Connections in South Africa

  • There were 100.6 million mobile connections in South Africa in January 2021.
  • The number of mobile connections in South Africa increased by 817 thousand (+0.8%) between January 2020 and January 2021.
  • The number of mobile connections in South Africa in January 2021 was equivalent to 168.5% of the total population.

Note: many people have more than one mobile connection, so figures for mobile connections may exceed 100% of the total population.



United Kingdom  & Northern Ireland

South African High Commission

South Africa House

Trafalgar Square



Tel: +44 207 451 7299



United States of America

South African Embassy

3051 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington DC


Tel: +1 202 232 4400

E-mail: / / 


New Zealand

South African High Commission

Level 7, AON Centre, 1 Willis Street,


P.O Box 25406

Wellington, 6140

Tel: +64 4 815 8484

Fax: +64 4 472 5010



South African High Commission

Corner State Circle and Rhodes Place





Tel: +61 2 6272 7300

Fax: +61 2 6273 1033

E-mail: (Political Matters (Consular Services) (Trade Aspects)

Latest information on the status of South Africans living in the diaspora

For Consulate and Embassy Information, please contact the Department of International Relations and Co-operations


Chief Directorate: Consular Services

Fax Number (Consular): (0 1 2) 3 2 9 1 7 5 2

Fax Number (Legislation): (0 1 2) 3 2 9 1 0 1 8

E-mail:  (Consular Enquiries)

NE2A – Ground Floor

OR Tambo Building

460 Southpansberg Road



leslyicdigitalSouth Africa