GPS solution helps bereaved locate graves

Graves in Avalon Cemetery in Soweto. Photo: eNCA / Lenyaro Sello

JOHANNESBURG - An East Rand entrepreneur has come up with an unusual way of helping bereaved families during a difficult time.

A digital solution may help people locate the right site as thousands of graves remain unmarked across the country.

An average of 120 people are buried every weekend at Avalon Cemetery in Soweto.

For many people, paying their last respects and visiting the gravesites of their loved ones is an important part of the grieving process.

But with so many funerals taking place, it is easy to get lost - especially if you lose sight of the convoy.

It is also possible to lose sight of exactly where a loved one is buried.

Lebohang Khitsane, from Bataung Memorial Tombstones, was concerned by the large number of people who could no longer remember the location of their loved ones’ burial sites.

He has come up with a resourceful idea to digitally locate the grave sites.

“We created a QR code for gravestones. This QR code is embedded with GPS coordinates, and when people attend funerals they will never get lost again. They scan the QR code: it gives them the funeral programme, it gives them direction to the cemetery, and it gives them the option to send messages to the family of condolence,” Khitsane said.

The QR code can be scanned by any smart device that has the free application installed.

The code is then placed on the tombstone, for a fee, ensuring that it is easy to locate the burial site of loved ones.


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