(South African Patent No.
Patent Cooperative Treaty Application No. PCT/ZA02/00143)
Revised May 2004 - First Release January 2003
by Sydney C Kloppers
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
Product Description (see drawings)
The 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
Recommendations 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.
The 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
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
and will need to educate the market on this alternative form of
Local Municipalities & Cemeteries
They are the interim clients, because they have to have
in place and ready for the man on the street who is the end
They are responsible in cost recovery by selling tombs to the
and minimal maintenance of the TOMB WALLS.
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
Transport & Construction Company
There is potential of forming new construction companies that
will specialise in
the transportation and construction of Tomb Walls. Manufacturers
only able to manufacture the wall units, so there is a need for
transportation and erecting of Tomb Walls.
These companies buy manufacturing licences from the patent
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.
The man on the street who’s the end buyer of the Tomb to bury
Schematic Flow of Business Structure
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.
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
• 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
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.
For information on Tomb Wall Development and Pilot
Projects, click HERE for contact details.
To view recent media publicity click
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