Calgro M3 Memorial Park 1
Wikus Lategan
Off grid business: Wikus Lategan, financial director at Calgro M3, said the initiative will take pressure off the local municipality

In South Africa, Johannesburg-based Calgro M3, a residential property developer, has announced that its new subsidiary, Calgro M3 Memorial Parks, will operate independently of the national electricity grid by generating its own renewable energy to run all aspects of the business.

Wikus Lategan, financial director, from Calgro M3, said: “We believe that in this era of tight electricity supply, any move to generate one’s own power, to be independent of Eskom, is an important element of sustainability."

“It has been estimated that a lack of power has cost this country 10% of GDP and businesses need to take action now to limit the negative impact on their bottom line,” Lategan added.

According to Calgro M3, the off-grid initiative will help ease pressures placed on the municipalities within which they operate.

Self-powered Calgro M3 Memorial Parks

Calgro M3 Memorial Parks is an initiative designed to focus on the development of private memorial parks, with the first park, the Nasrec Private Memorial Park expected to open in May 2015, Calgro said in a statement.

The memorial parks offer the community the opportunity to purchase burial sites for themselves and family members, which state cemeteries are not able to currently accommodate.

Calgro M3 Memorial Parks will have headquarters at the Nasrec site. “The offices have been designed to operate independently of South Africa’s electricity grid, using various forms of renewable energy with generator backup,” states Lategan.

“All of the memorial parks and all the facilities associated with this company will be entirely self-sufficient in power generation. We believe that this will be the first entirely off-the-grid company of size in the country.”

Located just off the Nasrec off-ramp on the Western Bypass, the first in a suite of parks will initially be able to accommodate 25,000 grave sites, with future expansion of a further 14,500 sites available.

“Lessons learned in this field of alternative energy will be applied to the group’s integrated developments once teething problems have been resolved,” Lategan concluded.