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Funeral Services and Related Activities
BY Carole Veitch
South Africa
22 February 2016
R 2 040.00 (ZAR)  
estimated $ 145.51 (USD) *
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The South African Funeral Services Sector


This report focuses on South Africa’s thriving funeral services industry which is estimated to generate revenue of between R7.5bn and R10bn each year. Role players in the formal and informal funeral sectors estimate that at least 70,000 undertakers are active in the domestic death care market and that approximately 15,000 funeral parlours are operational. Of interest is that in this competitive market the largest players jointly serve less than 4% of the domestic market.


A Lack of Reliable Statistics


Reliable statistics regarding the size of the local funeral industry, as well as its contribution to South Africa’s GDP are not available. This can be attributed to the fact that the sector is characterised by high levels of informality and undertakers are not required to register with one of the three industry bodies. Informal operators are widely supported by an indeterminate number of stokvels, as well as by over 100,000 burial societies. Stakeholders report numerous problems including an indeterminate number of unlicensed ‘backyard’ service providers, illegal burials and unreported deaths.


Trends


Although there are relatively few private cemeteries in South Africa, private memorial parks are becoming increasingly popular. Significant players include Fourways Memorial Park, Legacy Parks and Calgro M3’s Nasrec Memorial Park. Growing in popularity in the formal sector are lavish funeral ceremonies and ‘after tears parties’, ‘green’ funerals, ‘living funerals’, also known as pre-funerals, and live Internet streaming of funerals.


Report Coverage


The Funeral Services and Related Activities report describes current conditions, recent developments including innovations in light of the increasing shortage of land, and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 14 companies operational in the formal market, including the AVBOB Group, the Doves Group (Pty) Ltd, and franchisors, Martin’s Funerals Franchising (Pty) Ltd and 21st Century Life (Pty) Ltd. Also profiled are Batho Batsho Bakopane Funeral Services SA (Pty) Ltd t/a B3 Funeral Services which operates locally and in Swaziland, and the Independent Crematoriums of South Africa (ICSA), which operate 12 of the country’s 25 crematoriums.


Page
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. DESCRIPTION OF THE INDUSTRY 1
2.1. Value Chain 3
2.2. Geographic Position 5
3. SIZE OF THE INDUSTRY 5
4. STATE OF THE INDUSTRY 12
4.1. Local 12
4.1.1. Corporate Actions 15
4.1.2. Regulations 15
4.1.3. Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development Initiatives 18
4.2. Continental 19
4.3. International 20
5. INFLUENCING FACTORS 22
5.1. Economic Environment 22
5.2. Government Intervention 23
5.3. Informality and Illegal Practices 23
5.4. Life Expectancy 23
5.5. Input Costs 24
5.6. Environmental Concerns 25
5.7. Technology, Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation 26
5.8. Labour Resources 28
5.9. Cyclicality 30
6. COMPETITION 30
6.1. Barriers to Entry 30
7. SWOT ANALYSIS 31
8. OUTLOOK 32
9. INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 33
10. REFERENCES 33
10.1. Publications 33
10.2. Websites 34
COMPANY PROFILES 36
21st Century Life (Pty) Ltd 36
Avalon Memoriam BFN (Pty) Ltd 39
AVBOB (Begrafnisdiens) Ltd 40
Batho Batsho Bakopane Funeral Services SA (Pty) Ltd 50
Calgro M3 Memorial Parks (Pty) Ltd 53
Doves Group (Pty) Ltd 54
Durbanville Memorial Park (Pty) Ltd 57
Fourways Memorial Park CC 58
Independent Crematoriums SA (Pty) Ltd 59
Legacy Parks (Pty) Ltd 61
Legacy Pet Crematorium (Pty) Ltd 62
Martin's Funeral Franchising (Pty) Ltd 63
Sonja Smith Funeral Group (Pty) Ltd 65
Tshebedisano Burial Society CC 67