The business of funerals


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Have you ever thought about the person who will close the grave after a burial? Many people ask about funeral packages offered by a burial society, but they often forget the services of opening or closing the grave as they are usually not included in the package.

In South Africa, burial remains the most popular end-of-life choice. According to Index Mundi 2014 statistics, the death rate in South Africa was estimated at 17.49 deaths/1,000 population annually.

Grave sites of our relatives are part of our legacy,  unfortunately, in most cases  in cemeteries there is no one to support this memory. Filling the grave is the most striking part in a funeral, and it completes the burial process.

PM Grave Closure is a Soweto based business that has utilized the opportunity of closing graves so as to help the bereaved complete the burial of their loved ones. The company was founded by Pitso Maleka, a 38 year old forward thinking entrepreneur from Soweto.

“I went to a funeral in 2002 and in a corner where I was standing, whilst watching the proceedings, and the time that was taken  to fill in the grave, an idea came into my mind and the journey to create a strong viable business came to life in 2003”, says Pitso Maleka, founder and owner of PM Grave Closure.

Since its inception in 2003, the company has grown and employees over 900 people. The company provides quality and friendly grave services that ensures the departed are buried with dignity and their final resting place is always presentable.

“On an average Saturday, there are 80 to 90 funerals held at Avalon Cemetery in Soweto, and there is lots of competition among undertaker companies”, reckons Pitso Maleka.

“This is a unique business altogether in that I don’t have to compete with the undertaker companies, but I actually get business from them, adds Pitso.

The company also does relocating, exhumation, locating and maintenance of graves as part of its service offering.

“The very fact of a funeral demonstrates that death is important to us. They also make a social statement that says, ‘Come support me’. Therefore we show our physical support through closing the grave”, concludes Pitso Maleka.

The company has offered grave closure services for high profile people like Simba Mhere, Eddie Zondi, Flabba, Lebo Mathosa, Vuyo Mokoena, Vuyo Mbuli, Zombo to name but a few.

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