Calgro M3: being responsible considering dire water shortage in Western Cape

Johannesburg, 3 July 2017 – Calgro M3, the listed property developer, involved in large scale Integrated Residential Developments, Real Estate Investments (rental units) and private Memorial Parks, today announced that as a result of the critical water shortages in the Western Cape, it has scaled down significantly on “wet work” construction activities at the Belhar and Scottsdene developments. To avoid the use of Municipal water supply, the Company had only used borehole water for the past six months. As a result of the further reduction proposals by the City of Cape Town (“City”) and the risk of running out of water as announced by the City on 26 June 2017, Calgro M3 has decided to scale down further on water usage in the area.

Wikus Lategan, CEO of Calgro M3, said that no jobs will be lost during the period in which the company is scaling down on construction activities. “This is a responsible reaction by Calgro M3. The people we have working on our sites are important to the company, and cannot be penalised because the Cape is in the grips of a severe drought.” The drought has reached critical proportions, to the extent that a disaster has been declared.

Lategan went on to explain that those who know the Company well, will know that Calgro M3 is passionate about water conservation and harvesting, solar power and alternative forms of electricity to power the residential units it develops and constructs. “It is a moral responsibility on our part, to use water sparingly and this is what has informed our decision.”

Calgro M3’s business model is to only commence construction of top structures once the units are sold. In the Developments business in the Western Cape, there are more than 1 750 residential units in all market segments already sold, on which construction has been delayed to conserve water since January 2017. Commencement of construction will be delayed on any new units sold. The 1 750 units represent 25% of the total units under construction across the Group.

At present Calgro M3 has 1 600 people working on its two Western Cape developments. It is the Company’s intention that no jobs will be lost as a result of scaling down the construction work. This does mean that the company will carry the costs directly. According to Lategan, the projects have not ground to a halt as certain dry works are being carried out which ensures that the projects can still move forward, albeit at a slower rate, but most importantly, that current jobs on the sites are preserved. “Our estimation is that there will be a three to four-month delay. Extreme measures will be taken to minimize time already lost should the Western Cape receive sufficient rainfall and water restrictions be lifted” say Lategan.

Rainwater harvesting systems are included as standard in the final build in Calgro M3’s Western Cape Developments. This is to enable residents to capture and harvest rain water in the future. “Given that South Africa is a water-scarce country, in my opinion every house in the country should have some form of water harvesting system. The severe effects of El Nino which we experienced last year, and which the Western Cape is living through now, makes it extremely real for each one of us. Although we believe Government should help where they can, it should be a shared responsibility
that we as individuals and as communities can take on to ensure we are responsible with this precious, live-giving commodity that is water,” Lategan explained.

He concluded by saying that, “We pray each day that the Western Cape receives sufficient rain. In the meanwhile, we have done what we can to get water to the construction sites and now have limited options. The fact that we have scaled down on construction means that we will experience delays, but we will do everything we can to ensure no jobs are lost in the process.”

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Copied from press release by Calgro M3

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