Located on the doorstep of the University of Pretoria’s main campus, Hatfield is a hip hot spot.
Hatfield is popular among Pretoria’s youth, thanks to the area’s high-density student accommodation. This suburb, which is constantly buzzing with the creative energy of young people, is seeing continual growth, with new developments and entertainment venues coming on stream.
Hatfield is diverse when it comes to sports and culture: more than 30 embassies are situated in the area (including the Argentinian, Canadian and Swedish embassies) and it is a short distance away from Loftus Versfeld Stadium, well known for hosting local and international sports matches as well as music concerts. The area is close enough to Pretoria’s city centre for easy access but slightly away from the bustle so that residents and students can enjoy a more laid-back vibe.
University of Pretoria
Everything in Hatfield revolves around the University of Pretoria’s main campus, which is the heart of the area. It is especially inviting for students, as all amenities are conveniently located within walking distance, whether it be the grocery store, banks, restaurants, bars or gym. The university, affectionately known by locals as “Tukkies”, has grown from 32 students in a single late-Victorian house in 1908 to about 39,000 students on seven suburban campuses, organised into nine faculties and a business school.
New developments such as Hatfield Studios, a residential building on Burnett Street with state-of-the-art, semi-furnished luxury studio apartments specifically designed for students, opened in January. The Fields, another residential and shopping development in Burnett Street, also recently brought a breath of fresh air to the area in the form of an urban village where students can live, study and shop.
Katlego Matladi, a first-year student living in Hatfield, says she enjoys living in this positive, relaxed community and loves exploring its funky shops, open areas, bars and clubs. “It’s convenient to live so close to the university and be able to walk to the bank or grocery store rather than drive a car, and it is great knowing that if I want to travel further I can simply walk to the Gautrain Hatfield Station and head to Johannesburg,” she says.
The station, in Hatfield’s business node, is one of the main stations of the Gautrain, South Africa’s premier mass rapid transit railway, and services eight stations from 5.30am to 8.30pm daily. On weekdays the trains run every 12 minutes during peak periods and every 20 minutes off-peak, and on weekends and public holidays they run every 30 minutes.
Close to the Hatfield Gautrain Station is the Hatfield Plaza, a small shopping centre housing of 70 stores, including Pick n Pay, Jay Jays, Clicks, Factorie, Totalsports and ATMs. Collectors and bargain hunters flock to the parking area of Hatfield Plaza each Sunday for the Hatfield Flea Market to see what great items they can snap up. Coordinator Herman Potgieter says this busy bazaar hosts more than 200 stalls that peddle everything from antique furniture to sparkling accessories and handmade African crafts. He says the market also has a fantastic food court with snacks, treats and beverages, and local performers to keep visitors entertained.
Hatfield is synonymous with the student nightlife, and interesting restaurants, bars and clubs are sprinkled throughout the area, offering a selection of social spots for the young crowd. Papa’s Real Food in Duncan Yard serves delicious pub lunches and craft beer on the piazza; the stylishly furnished Blue Room Restaurant and Lounge is perfect for chilling in the late afternoon; and Aandklas, a rock metal bar in Hatfield Square, stages regular live music nights, where bands such as Die Tuindwergies perform.
After a hectic night out, it may be time for students to get their health back on track. And what better way to do this than to hit the Hatfield Virgin Active? The fitness professionals there help clients build their own training programme. Whether you want to buff up, bulk up or just be able to unscrew a bottle without help, they have a class to help you make the most of your muscle power at all levels of fitness.
There’s no denying that when it comes to diverse events, amenities and entertainment that will satisfy any personality or taste, Hatfield has the widest range of exciting options available. This relaxing yet vibrant area will revitalise and ignite the inner creative passions of any resident who chooses to make Hatfield their home.
Things to do in and around Hatfield
• Watch the latest rugby match or concert at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
• Check out the unique crafts and foods at the Hatfield Flea Market.
• Take a trip to Centurion from the Gautrain Hatfield Station.
• Enjoy the interesting restaurants, bars and clubs, such Aandklas and The Blue Room.
• Head to the Hatfield Virgin Active Gym and build your own training programme.
• Investigate the latest student accommodation available at The Fields.
Property prices in Hatfield
A typical property for sale in Hatfield is a one-bedroom apartment.
• Average asking price: R790,000
• Average asking price of a house: R1,83m
• Average asking price for properties for sale in complexes and townhouses: R1,2m
• Average monthly rental for a one-bedroom apartment: R5,475
The suburb sees a lot of interest in both sales and rental properties.
• 6% of the interest in property for sale
• 12% of the interest in Hatfield property for rent
• 28% more views per listing for sale
• 59% more views per listing for rent
than properties elsewhere in Pretoria Central.
Experience the culture and lifestyle of Pretoria Central and Old East Neighbourhoods on Private Property
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.