SAY GOOD­BYE TO LOAD SHED­DING

THERE ARE VAR­I­OUS REA­SONS WHY PEO­PLE CHOOSE TO GO OFF THE GRID – A TERM COINED TO DE­SCRIBE A HOUSE­HOLD THAT DOESN’T RE­CEIVE PUB­LIC UTIL­ITY SER­VICES FROM THEIR CITY. SOME DO IT TO AS­SERT THEIR IN­DE­PEN­DENCE AND TO ES­CAPE MONTHLY SER­VICE FEES, WHILE OTH­ERS A

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“What­ever your rea­sons, go­ing off the grid takes a lot of care­ful plan­ning and re­source­ful­ness. Most al­ter­na­tive en­ergy and wa­ter sup­plies re­quire a cer­tain type of cli­mate in or­der to be ef­fec­tive.That is why find­ing the right lo­ca­tion is paramount to suc­cess­fully main­tain­ing your self-suf­fi­ciency,” says Adrian Goslett, Re­gional Di­rec­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa.

Below are Goslett’s top four sug­ges­tions for the best places in South Africa to get off the grid.

HOEDSPRUIT, LIM­POPO

Hoedspruit, which neigh­bours the Kruger Na­tional Park and is sit­u­ated at the foot of the Klein Drak­ens­berg, is a sa­fari lover’s dream. Be­ing so close to the largest na­tional park in South Africa, Hoedspruit of­fers many small­hold­ing prop­er­ties that are ideal for po­ten­tial off-the-grid buy­ers.The ad­di­tional space al­lows them to in­stall their own wa­ter tanks and al­ter­na­tive power gen­er­a­tors, and the warm cli­mate makes it the ideal spot for so­lar-gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity.“We ac­tu­ally have two off-the-grid prop­er­ties on the mar­ket at the mo­ment, one of which is in Lead­wood Big Game Es­tate.This four-bed­room home is de­signed to be self-sus­tain­able, with 5,000-litre wa­ter tanks and a wa­ter-purification sys­tem, as well as a full-time so­lar sys­tem,” says An­nie van den Berg, Bro­ker/Owner of RE/MAX Wildlife Prop­er­ties.

RIEBEEK VAL­LEY, WEST­ERN CAPE

This area, just slightly more than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, of­fers the per­fect lo­ca­tion for an off-the-grid home that is still within easy ac­cess of a bustling me­trop­o­lis.“Our un­der­ground wa­ter, which comes from the Kas­teel­berg, is pure and un­pol­luted, so many of our prop­er­ties make use of their own bore­hole wa­ter sup­plies,” ex­plains Anne Ke­tel, Bro­ker Owner of RE/MAX Val­ley Prop­er­ties.The Cape’s mild cli­mate con­di­tions also make it easy for home­own­ers to make use of so­lar power. So much so that RE/MAX Val­ley Prop­er­ties once mar­keted a large four-bed­room prop­erty on a 4,900 m² plot that ran com­pletely off its own bore­hole and so­lar-power sys­tem.

NA­TAL MID­LANDS, KWAZULU-NA­TAL

This area is rich in wa­ter sources – rivers, lakes, dams and wa­ter­falls flow in abun­dance here. The cli­mate is also suit­able for self-cre­ated elec­tric­ity sources, such as so­lar pan­els and wind tur­bines. “The Mid­lands is a topo­graph­i­cal area rich in nat­u­ral re­sources, mak­ing it an at­trac­tive spot for off-the-grid prop­erty buy­ers,” ex­plains Chris Smallie, Branch Man­ager at RE/MAX Mid­lands How­ick Branch.Their of­fice cur­rently has three off-the­grid prop­er­ties on their books, all of which are sit­u­ated in the Curry’s Post area. Wood­lands Farm, the per­fect ex­am­ple of a prop­erty that makes use of the abun­dant avail­able re­sources, has its own nat­u­ral wa­ter sup­ply that feeds off a nat­u­ral spring into an 80,000 litre wa­ter tank that over­flows into an on­site dam. So­lar pan­els and wind tur­bines pro­vide elec­tric­ity for this prop­erty.

KURUMAN, NORTH­ERN CAPE

This scenic area has a great un­der­wa­ter sup­ply orig­i­nat­ing from the iconic Eye of Kuruman nat­u­ral foun­tain, and it is said that the sun shines 340 days of the year here – mak­ing it the ideal spot for so­lar elec­tric­ity.“We know of a lot of own­ers in the area who are try­ing to get their prop­er­ties off the elec­tri­cal grid. Sec­tions of our town were not on the wa­ter sup­ply grid, so most of these own­ers have their own bore­holes and many have their own sewage sys­tems too,” says El­retha van der Merwe, Bro­ker Man­ager for RE/MAX Kala­hari, Kuruman Branch. She sug­gests that off-the-grid buy­ers look at river prop­er­ties close to Dou­glas.There are about 40 plots avail­able on a prop­erty called Plaas Zand­berg that present the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for sus­tain­able liv­ing.

“Go­ing off the grid is more than just a trendy craze to try out. It is an en­tirely new, en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble life­style. Choos­ing the right lo­ca­tion is one of the most im­por­tant parts of suc­cess­fully mak­ing the tran­si­tion into an en­tirely self-suf­fi­cient house­hold. We ap­plaud all who have made the eco-con­scious de­ci­sion to stick to an off-the-grid life­style,” Goslett con­cludes.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.re­max.co.za.

Na­tal Mid­lands, KwaZulu-Na­tal

RiebeekVal­ley,West­ern Cape

Hoedspruit, Lim­popo

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