"Tomb Walls"

(South African Patent No. 2002/3813
Patent Cooperative Treaty Application No. PCT/ZA02/00143)

Revised May 2004 - First Release January 2003
by Sydney C Kloppers

Confidentiality Statement

The information, data and drawings embodied in this business plan are confidential and are supplied with the understanding that they will be held in confidence and not disclosed to third parties, without the consent of Sydney C Kloppers. Certain concepts, ideas, designs and products are been protected by patents, trade marks and design protection, and may comply with manufacturing licensing conditions.

Product Description (see drawings)

Typical Tomb Wall Configuration - elevationThe product is called "A TOMB". The pre-cast Tomb is an alternative way to bury the dead. Essentially the pre-cast tomb is a reinforced concrete structure that can be stacked and arranged in various configurations to achieve maximum utilisation of available ground. The tombs are securely sealed with a reinforced concrete seal once a coffin is placed inside the tomb. Stone Plaques are positioned and fixed to the front of the concrete seal, and this gives the wall a beautiful stone finish. An area of 67m² has the potential to accommodate 128 - 256 tombs, in relation to 27 graves (ratio 1 grave : 4.7 tombs).

These concrete structures can be manufactured off site in a factory to various configurations in accordance to the basic specified pattern and structural design. This is a stand alone structure or unit that can be transported from the factory to a site, arranged and stacked in a number of configurations, that in the end will achieve maximum utilisation of available ground in existing or new cemeteries. These standalone structures are stacked, aligned and grouted into position, on top of and next to each other in accordance to the invention stacking specification.

Section A-A Typical 64 Tomb ConfigurationRecommendations of 4 to 8 (max) structural panels can be stacked on top of each other and as many next to and behind each other as required, to achieve maximum utilisation of available ground. A loose pre-cast reinforced concrete coffin bed is then grouted into position in the Tombs. When the Tomb configuration is set and structures are in place, optional pre-cast horizontal and vertical retaining walls can be placed on top and either side of Tomb structure. The horizontal retaining wall has hoop irons cast in the top, where the portable TOMB hoist mechanism is fixed to, when hoist is needed. A brick face wall can be built in front of the retaining walls to add to finishing. Ground material can then be imported to the site and the area behind the retaining walls is to be backfilled according to a Civil Engineer’s design and site instruction, to meet the sites soil conditions. Grass can be planted on this backfill to complement the appearance of the Tomb structure/s and prevent soil erosion.

Max 8 unit Height ConfigurationThe Tomb has a reinforced concrete seal and locking system that is hoisted into position in front of the open Tomb, with the help of the portable Tomb hoist mechanism, once a coffin is placed inside. The RC seal and locking system is then aligned, positioned and grouted in with a fast drying non-shrink grout in its final position, whereby the Tomb is securely sealed.


Current National Position

According to the Population Reference Bureau Data Sheets (www.prb.org), they estimate that the present Southern African Annual Death rate is 13 deaths per 1000 population (1.3% death rate), and a Growth rate of 26 births per 1000 population (1.3% growth rate). The present South African population at a round figure is 40, 000,000 (40 million), this means that 520,000 (520 thousand) people will die this year.

An average grave (grave area only, cemetery roads and paths not included) uses approximately 2.5m² of land in a cemetery. An estimate 312,000 (312 Thousand) of the 520,000 people that die this year will be buried in a grave. These graves would use 78ha (78 hectares) of land around the country this year. Government picks up this bill every year and as populations grow so will the bill grow. Limited land is going to cause many problems, because the land set aside for cemeteries becomes unproductive and does not meet the day to day needs of the living.

45-75% of deaths are in urban areas, where the cost of land is much higher and the demand for land even higher. The pre-cast tomb structures can help relieve this problem of land for graves by increasing the number of tombs that existing and new cemeteries can accommodate by 474% - 948%. A total of 16ha of land would be needed to accommodate 312,000 tombs in relation to 78ha to accommodate the same amount of graves.

It is clear that the pre-cast tombs can offer a viable alternative in an effort to achieve maximum utilisation of cemeteries, where ground is becoming so very valuable as the world grows at a rate of 1.3% or 65 million people a year, and where many cultures and religions will not opt for alternative methods of disposing of their dead, such as cremation. Over and above these factors, there is the HIV/AIDS Epidemic that awaits the SOUTH AFRICA. If government does not prepare for what lies ahead they will end up burying their people in mass graves without dignity, because they will not have any alternatives.


“The HIV/AIDS Epidemic (Source Population Reference Bureau 2000)

More people died of AIDS in 1999 than in any previous year. The 2.6 million deaths in 1999 brought the estimated total number of deaths since the beginning of the epidemic to 16.3 million. The annual number of deaths from AIDS is not expected to peak for many years because of the large number of people already infected. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization estimate that in 1999, 5.6 million people became infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes the life-threatening illness AIDS. Nearly 34 million people currently live with HIV/AIDS.

The AIDS epidemic affects people of all ages. About half of all people who contract AIDS are under the age of 25. Over 90 percent of the children under age 15 who contract HIV are born to mothers with HIV. Women can pass HIV to their children during pregnancy or delivery and through breastfeeding. Over the course of the epidemic, AIDS has left over 11.2 million children under age 15 without their mothers and many of those same children without a father. While some therapies can lengthen the life of someone with AIDS, there is still no cure for AIDS.

The elderly population is affected indirectly by HIV/AIDS, as older people become the primary caretakers of their own children who are dying of AIDS and also may become caretakers of grandchildren orphaned by AIDS.


Africa Dealt Worst Blow

Infection rates are not equally distributed around the globe. Ninety-five percent of people who are infected with HIV live in developing countries. The highest concentration of people with the HIV infection is in Africa, which accounts for 13 percent of the world's population but 69 percent of the cases of HIV infection. By contrast, Asia contains 61 percent of world population and 20 percent of HIV cases. The Americas have 14 percent of world population and 8 percent of HIV cases. Europe contributes 12 percent of world population and 2 percent of its population lives with an HIV infection. Half of 1 percent of world population lives in Oceania and those countries have an even lower percent of HIV cases worldwide-0.1 percent.

In sub-Saharan Africa about one in every 30 people is infected with HIV. Just over half of these people live in the countries of Eastern Africa. Over 8 million people live with the HIV infection in five Eastern African countries: 1.2 million in Mozambique, 1.4 million in Tanzania, 1.5 million in Zimbabwe, 1.6 million in Kenya, and 2.6 million in Ethiopia. In Western Africa, Nigeria has the largest population, and people living with HIV-2.3 million. Nearly 4 million people in South Africa are infected with HIV-the highest number of any country in Africa.

New evidence in Africa indicates that more women than men are infected with HIV on that continent-perhaps 12 or 13 women are infected for every 10 men who are infected. One reason for this difference by gender is that women contract the disease at younger ages and may be more likely to become infected during any single exposure.

HIV/AIDS is having a devastating effect on life expectancy in some countries. A child born in Southern Africa in the early 1950s could expect to live to age 44. By the early 1990s, life expectancy in this region had risen to nearly 60 years. But because of AIDS, that gain is expected to be lost. A child born in Southern Africa between 2005 and 2010 is expected to live just 45 years.”


Business Structure & Plan

This is no ordinary or conventional Business or Company Structure. The main reason for this is that the man on the street, is at the end of the day the “Client”, but Government bodies have to pay for the initial erection of the infrastructure. No ordinary company or man on the street is going to invest in a cemetery, but National, Regional and Local Governments have to have infrastructure in place to accommodate the client at the end of the day when he needs it. This is the inventors account of how the business structure and plan will flow, to develop Tomb Walls around the Countries cemeteries.

National, Regional & Local Government
The Government is the primary source of initial funding of these Projects,
and will need to educate the market on this alternative form of burial.

Local Municipalities & Cemeteries
They are the interim clients, because they have to have infrastructure
in place and ready for the man on the street who is the end client.
They are responsible in cost recovery by selling tombs to the end client
and minimal maintenance of the TOMB WALLS.

Implementation Agent
This would possibly be the Councils Engineering Department or a Civil Engineering Consulting Firm that would assess Local Municipalities needs and requirements concerning cemeteries. They would apply for funding from Nat., Reg. or Local Government and be responsible for the whole development project, to make sure that the interim client gets a sound product for the end client.

Transport & Construction Company
There is potential of forming new construction companies that will specialise in
the transportation and construction of Tomb Walls. Manufacturers are
only able to manufacture the wall units, so there is a need for specialised
transportation and erecting of Tomb Walls.

These companies buy manufacturing licences from the patent holder
and will manufacture and develop the product for the market.
Most manufactures have no sales team so they rely on other
companies to market and sell their products to clients.

End Client
The man on the street who’s the end buyer of the Tomb to bury somebody.


Schematic Flow of Business Structure

Schematic Flow of Business StructureClick thumbnail or this link to view

Inventor and Patent Owner

I, Mr. Sydney C Kloppers have been working on and developing this invention since January 2001, but my first thoughts of the idea goes back a few years. I own the submitted South African Patent Application, and will own all the outstanding and pending patent global registrations.


Situation Analysis

Many South African cities are facing a crisis situation, with respect to cemeteries. Existing cemeteries on average and at the present death rate of 1.3% per annum, at an estimate only have enough space for graves for another 4 - 6 years. These are average national estimates, but when you look at individual cemeteries in GP, KZN and WP many of them already do not have space. New cemeteries need land close to communities, but so do the housing programs, so Local and City Councils are in trouble or going to be in trouble very soon. The Tomb structures can easily be used in existing cemeteries, because they are highly versatile when you look at stacking configurations for example; an area 5.8m wide and 11.4m long (67m²) can hold 128 - 256 tombs in relation to 27 graves. Most cemeteries do not have boundary walls, but by stacking the "Tomb Walls" on the boundaries, they can act as boundary walls as well. We don’t really know what problems lie ahead, but some preparation now will help later.



I envisage the concept growing enormously with a good marketing program of a sound product and concept. The success of the product and implementation thereof in South Africa will pave the way to new markets all over the World, because many countries, regions, cities and towns are facing similar problems as we are experiencing here in South Africa. The fact is the population of the World is growing every day and people are dying every day, and we need to be able to bury the dead with dignity.


Objectives & Strategies

The following show how STRATEGIES are related to objectives:

OBJECTIVE: To provide a viable and acceptable alternative concept to bury the dead, where cultures and religions do not accept the practise of cremation.

• By burying people in the Tomb, securely seals the coffin from the atmosphere and makes it very difficult to access the coffin once the Tomb is sealed. The Tomb in essence acts the same as the ground around a grave, the main difference is that the structure can be managed and sealed better than graves. What happens inside a coffin, whether it is in the ground or in the Tomb is unaffected.

OBJECTIVE: To increase the utilization of existing and new cemeteries to the maximum potential of the land.

• The Tomb makes greater utilization of land possible and it is very effective. Estimates of utilization can increase by 474% - 948% as explained earlier.

OBJECTIVE: To have authorities prepare for the increasing number of deaths as the population grows and the crisis of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic that awaits South Africa, so that people can be buried with dignity.


• Initiate a survey to assess the current situation and what infrastructures are in place and in what conditions they are, so that our estimates can be changed to reflect the facts.
• Implement a development program, to start planning and budgeting funds to the program to develop "Pre-Cast Tombs" cemeteries in crisis areas and general cemeteries.
• Initiate a public awareness program, to inform the public on the problems that cemeteries are facing, and educate them on the advantages of the Tomb Wall concept and how it works, to gain their acceptance of the concept. Have Government implement a national reform program and infrastructure development program in all cemeteries to be prepared for the epidemic that awaits. Inform Government of the threat of mass graves to coupe with the numbers of people and the rate that they will die.

OBJECTIVE: Job Creation.

• All the surveys and construction programs will create jobs in local communities as they prepare and upgrade the capacity of cemeteries with the erection of "Tomb Walls".


Market Research and Assumptions

South Africa’s present population is in the order of 40m (40 million) people. The current annual death rate in South Africa is 1.3% or 520,000 deaths pa. If every person that died were to be buried, then the total area that the Graves this year alone will cover, excluding the access roads and cemetery paths will be in the region of 130 hectares. The same area could accommodate 5,200 middle income houses on stands of 250m² each and meet the needs of 312,000 people. This land that the graves use becomes dormant and will never meet the sustainable needs of the living.

If we take the same number graves and use the Tomb concept, with the ratio of 128 tombs per 67m² we see that 520,000 wall tombs will only use 27ha of land instead of 130ha or alternatively 2, 300,000 tombs could fit on 130ha. There are many configurations that can be implemented with the Tomb concept to achieve the utmost utilization of existing and new cemeteries. Not every cemetery will need the Tomb concept and not every body that dies will be buried, but these assumptions and estimates give a clear picture of how much "Tomb Walls" can help cemeteries utilise the land to the maximum.

In this day and age where land in many regions is in such demand and becoming so expensive, the pros for Tomb concept out number the cons by far. The biggest con is the cost of the Tomb in relation to the cost of a grave, but countries cannot afford to alienate good and fertile land for unspecified period of time to bury people, while there is not enough land for the living.


Contact Details

For information on Tomb Wall Development and Pilot Projects, click HERE for contact details.


To view recent media publicity click HERE.

This Page available as an eBook

Click HERE to download this page as an eBook.

Previous Page | Top of Page

Cemetery Land Management System
(South African Patent No. 2002/3813
Patent Cooperative Treaty Application No. PCT/ZA02/00143)
P O Box 122, Fauna Park, Polokwane, 0787, South Africa
Mobile: 082 920 0656 Fax: 086 605 1503 E-mail: tomb@gunda.co.za

Website Maintained by Storm Media and Publishing
Webmaster: Click HERE to contact our Webmaster

Click Here!

Fight Špäm!
Click Here!