The picturesque suburb of Waterkloof has much to boast about.
Waterkloof is a suburb which has magnificent, highly sought-after hilltop homes with extensive gardens and an impressive view of the capital in a beautiful, spacious environment This picturesque suburb south-east of the city centre between Groenkloof, Menlo Park, Brooklyn and Monument Park, is in close proximity to important amenities including good schools, shopping, entertainment, business and sporting facilities.
Waterkloof has a unique international atmosphere, with approximately 200 houses owned or rented by foreign embassies and ministers. Among bodies representing governments in the area are the embassies of Lebanon, Panama, Republic of Yemeni, The State of Qatar and Kazakhastan.
Gretha Uys, a resident of Waterkloof for 15 years and chairwoman of the Waterkloof Homeowners Association, says the suburb was originally a farm in 1900 when the land was acquired by Julius Jeppe’s company, the SA Townships, Mining and Finance Corporation. She says Wilhelm de Zwaan designed the first homes in Waterkloof in 1904 and many of these houses still exist although many have undergone alterations which make them less easy to identify.
“Residents of the area and the Waterkloof Homeowners Association (WHA) aim to enhance the quality of life in the area, protect value of properties and maintain the residential character of the suburb. In 2006, the Residential Management Services Waterkloof was created by WHA to bring down crime in Waterkloof with assistance of security groups and the Brooklyn Community Policing Forum, and they continue to strive for their community and suburb to be crime free,” says Gretha.
Richard King, a resident of Waterkloof for 18 years, says the Waterkloof Traffic Management Plan, with traffic calming measures and zoning agreement, is one of the latest positive developments currently being worked on in the area by the WHA. He says densification of Waterkloof has taken place over the years and since 2010 the association has been working with the municipality and traffic engineers to implement traffic calming measures to mitigate the impact of developments in the area.
When it comes to education, Waterkloof has top facilities including Hoerskool Waterkloof, Waterkloof Primary School, Waterkloof Christenskool and Waterkloof House Preparatory School. The staff at these schools pride themselves in maintaining high standards of holistic education based on full academic, cultural and sporting programmes. They encourage independent thinking, self-discipline and a positive self-image in learners so they their reach full potential.
The suburb also provides residents with convenient one-stop-shopping destinations catering to the requirements of the most discerning shopper. Waterkloof Corner, Waterkloof Ridge Lifestyle Centre and Waterkloof Heights Shopping Centre are among centres providing an assortment of stores, restaurants, spas and pharmacies to accommodate residents’ needs.
Waterkloof Drycleaners, BSXI Hydro Spa and Castle Ridge Pharmacy and Postnet at the Waterkloof Ridge Lifestyle Centre are some convenient amenities making life easier. Waterkloof Heights Shopping Centre has a range of food, health and lifestyle amenities, such as Woolworths Food, Priva and Palladium Hair Salon, available.
Some of the great offerings available at Waterkloof Corner include Spar, Barbor Beauty Spa and Isabella’s Cake and Food Shop. While Villa Paola and Meet on Milner restaurants on Milner Street in the heart of the suburb provide a delightful dining out experience.
Siobhan Muller, ward councillor for Waterkloof, says the suburb is home to some wonderful recreational facilities such as the Pretoria Country Club and Waterkloof Golf Club which each have scenic 18-hole golf courses. She says Pretoria Country Club officially opened in October 1910 and has become a landmark in Pretoria; undergoing a major redesign in 2004 and 2005 by Gary Player.
“The Waterkloof Golf Course was redesigned in 2006 by Peter Matkovich and has a modern clubhouse and is a stunning venue for corporate functions, private parties, conferences or weddings. They are both renowned for being quality sports and social venues in magnificent surroundings,” she says.
Martin Coetzee, a resident of Waterkloof for 25 years, says this year the suburb will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lawley Street Christmas Light Display which takes place every festive season. He says the residents of Lawley Street are renowned for this display which has become a major attraction, with hundreds of cars per hour driving down the street at peak time to view the lights display that has continued successfully and been extended to Rigel Avenue over the years.
With great schools, exciting entertainment and convenient business and sporting facilities situated in this peaceful area filled with beautiful extensive houses, Waterkloof provides a relaxing family environment second to none. More properties continue to be subdivided and redeveloped in this area over the years, allowing more individuals the opportunity to happily call this leafy, scenic suburb home.
Things to do in and around Waterkloof
Enjoy top dining and an entertaining jazz at Priva restaurant at Waterkloof Heights Shopping Centre
Play a round of golf at Pretoria Country Club
Take a drive down Lawley Street to view the Lawley Street Christmas Light Display
Treat yourself to a luxury spa treatment at BSXI Hydro Spa at The Waterkloof Ridge Lifestyle Centre
Treat a friend to cake at Isabella’s Cake and Food Shop at Waterkloof Corner
Take a trip through Pretoria Central here:
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.