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WATCH | Smart new SA funeral app makes planning your own burial a breeze: Here's an inside look

23 September 2021 - 06:55 By Deepa Kesa

A new funeral app called Sendoff has been introduced to SA. It's the brainchild of Sendoff CEO Zolani Matebese and is believed to be a world first.

Matebese said he had to plan a funeral for extended family and was dissatisfied with the process and service, so he thought of ways to change it. The idea of creating a platform that digitises all aspects of funeral planning was solidified when Matebese spoke to his colleague and COO of Sendoff, Thabisile Sethaba.

Sethaba said: “I worked in the funeral industry in my high school days, which was years ago, and to date the process is still the same – nothing has changed. When Zolani told me about this idea, I asked him, 'why haven't we started?'”

While the idea of marrying technology to funeral planning isn’t new, what makes the app a first of its kind is that all aspects of planning a funeral are now digitised, allowing customers to choose and buy a full-service funeral package online, making the planning process as simple and stress-free as possible.

The app covers all aspects of the big day, including food, coffins, church hall, trauma counselling, grave site, flowers, cleaning services, body pick-up and even the aesthetics of the event.

“You can plan everything in the app and the actual service can take place wherever you want it, be it rural KZN or Cape Town,” said Matebese.

“We want to become the Uber or Airbnb of the death industry, so if someone passes on and the family needs help, they should think of Sendoff,” said Sethaba.

Another unique aspect of the app is the ability to pre-plan your own funeral. Think of it as booking accommodation on Airbnb: you pre-book what you're looking for.

On the app you are able to plan all the ins and outs of your own funeral and make the payment, leaving the rest for Sendoff to take care of.

Once you pass on, your family is just left with a phone call to the company.

All of the pre-plans you make would have to be paid for, and thereafter Sethaba insisted the plan would "absolutely" stay in place till you die, even if it's 20 years later or more.

Packages vary in contents and services but the cheapest online starts at R14,000, with the most expensive setting you back R90,000.