A loved one’s passing is never an easy experience. Unfortunately, a number of things must be done immediately following the death of a loved one. According to the Births and Deaths Registration Act, the following individuals must be informed of the death of a person:


  • Officers with specific responsibilities within the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Members of the South African Police Service, especially in rural areas where DHA offices do not exist.
  • A South African consulate or embassy if the death occurred abroad.
  • Licensed funeral directors.


A Death Report (Form BI-1680) will be issued after a death has been registered. Additionally, a burial order may also be issued (Form BI-14). A burial order is necessary for the burial to take place.


What Is Burial Order?

As defined in the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act 51 of 1992), a burial order is an order granting authorisation to bury or cremate a deceased individual.


Who Can Grant a Burial Order in South Africa?

A burial order can be issued only by an individual whose authority has been granted by the Department of Home Affairs (for example, a traditional leader, a member of the SA Police Service, or an authorised undertaker). 

Can a Funeral Be Arranged Without a Death Certificate?

Funeral directors are not required to obtain death certificates when arranging funerals, but they must record the death in writing. Your funeral director will receive certain paperwork from the registrar once the death has been registered to begin the arrangements and arrange for the funeral.


You might want to obtain a copy of the unabridged death certificate of your loved one as soon as the death is registered and your loved one has been buried. If you require assistance with this, Doc Assist can assist. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team for more information. 


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