A beach in Pretoria? Only if you have R600k to spare

All you need is 35 million litres of water, a remote controlled Kreepy Krauly, 2,700 tons of beach sand - and you've got your own beach in Pretoria

'You don’t go to Club Med to sit with everyone else.' This is why the Blyde at Riverwalk Estate in Pretoria has an exclusive lagoon for residents only.
'You don’t go to Club Med to sit with everyone else.' This is why the Blyde at Riverwalk Estate in Pretoria has an exclusive lagoon for residents only.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

One of South Africa’s largest property companies has invested in a R4.2bn residential development in Pretoria that boasts its own giant private beach.

The Blyde at Riverwalk Estate in Pretoria East, Gauteng, has a 1.5ha lagoon, complete with beach sand. The lagoon, created by Chilean company Crystal Lagoons, is part of the development by Balwin Properties.

The catch? You have to live there to swim in it.

Balwin Properties spokesperson Lisa Sinclair said the beach would not be open to the public in December 2018.

"It’s all about exclusivity. The idea is to have a resort feel to the property. Imagine if everyone was allowed in, it would go downhill very fast. You don’t go to Club Med to sit with everyone else."

The Blyde beach in numbers

2,700 tons of beach sand

35 million litres of water in the lagoon

R599,999 is the cheapest unit at The Blyde

The Blyde will have 3,500 units when completed in around three years. According to sales assistant Solomon Lubutu, to date the company has sold 489 units, of which 294 are occupied.

According to selling agent Wesley White, the units range in size from 45m² to 120m² and cost between R599,999 and R1,699,000 per unit.

Sinclair said the selling point was the lagoon.

"It is the first of its kind in South Africa. The company that created it monitors its clarity from Chile. But it is like a pool. We have a 2x1m Kreepy Krauly, which is remote controlled."

Lagoon manager Ian Nel said the 35-million litres of water came from boreholes. The beaches were filled with 2,700 tons of beach sand.

Nel would not say how much it cost to upkeep the lagoon, but did say the levy of R12.50 per square metre covered the expense.

There are two beaches on the property but only one is open at the moment.

Now we are also looking at charging residents for bringing guests to the beach, because it’s just becoming a free-for-all

“We do have to have rules. We want to keep it nice for residents and there is no smoking, no bottles on the beach, no cooler boxes or eating, that sort of thing," said Sinclair.

“Now we are also looking at charging residents for bringing guests to the beach, because it’s just becoming a free-for-all.

“If you live here, you can bring guests, just tell us beforehand how many, they pay an entrance fee and then it’s OK,” she said.

A woman enjoying the beach with her granddaughter said she loved staying on the estate. “I don’t actually live here, my daughter does. I just stay with her so I can come to the beach.”

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she would not pay for the facility. “My daughter lives here, it’s her home, I am visiting.”

Balwin Properties is SA’s largest seller of sectional title property, but this year turned its focus to the rental market to make up for a drop in sales, BusinessLIVE reported earlier this year.


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